Paris (AFP) – France on Sunday marked the first anniversary of the Paris attacks with sombre ceremonies and painful memories for the relatives of the 130 people killed.
The day of sorrow began under grey morning skies as President Francois Hollande led commemorations at the sites where jihadist killers unleashed a bloodbath.
It ended after dark as a fleet of tiny lanterns floated eerily on a branch of the Seine, each emblazoned with a message to those whose lives had been obliterated.
Hollande’s first duty was to unveil a plaque outside the Stade de France, to commemorate Manuel Dias, 63, killed by a suicide bomber outside the national stadium as France played Germany at football that fateful evening.
Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo then unveiled plaques outside bars and restaurants in the trendy neighbourhood where gunmen sprayed bullets at people enjoying a Friday evening out.
The final ceremony took place outside the Bataclan, the revered Paris concert hall where 90 people were slain by three Islamic State attackers during a rock gig. The killers ruthlessly picked off young people lying defenceless, injured or cowering in fear.
The names of those killed at the Bataclan were read out as hundreds of people gathered in silence under rainy skies.
Rock star Sting reopened the refurbished Bataclan on Saturday night with an emotionally-charged show held amid tight security.
“We will not forget them,” the British singer told the crowd in French after a minute’s silence. Many wept during his first song, “Fragile”.
The Bataclan management said they had prevented two members of the US group Eagles of Death Metal — who were on stage when the bloodshed started — from entering the Sting concert, including lead singer Jesse Hughes.
Hughes had previously sparked outrage by suggesting that Muslim staff at the Bataclan may have cooperated with the attackers. Read the rest of this entry »
The city of Paris was stricken by a series of terrorist attacks on Friday night. The latest reports have at least
26 30 dead and many more injured.
Among the targets, the music venue Bataclan, where police say terrorists have taken
60 100 hostages. According to the venue’s calendar, Eagles of Death Metal were performing a sold-out show at the venue this evening.
This is a developing story…
Source: Consequence of Sound