US lowers flags to half-staff in honor of Paris victims

WASHINGTON - The United States flag will fly at half-staff at the White House and other official buildings across the country and abroad, until sunset Thursday to honor the dead in the Paris terror attacks.

President Barack Obama made the order on Sunday, two days after bombings and shootings killed at least 129 people in a wave of attacks in the French capital claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

The Stars and Stripes will also be flown at half-staff at all US embassies and missions overseas.

Flags at the US Congress fluttered at half-staff Sunday in honor of the victims of the Paris terror attacks.

The new speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, gave the order out of what he called "respect and solidarity." The gesture of mourning will continue until Thursday at dusk.

The US flag normally flies at half-staff after events that have left American casualties or in memory of deceased lawmakers.

In July, for instance, the flags were lowered half way after a gunman killed five soldiers at a military facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.