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France marks five years since deadly Bataclan attack

The prime minister unveiled commemorative plaques at the Bataclan concert hall, Stade de France and Paris cafes to honour the 130 killed

By IQ on 13 Nov 2020

Prime minister Jean Castex paying tribute outside the Bataclan concert hall

Prime minister Jean Castex paying tribute outside the Bataclan concert hall


image © Twitter/Jean Castex

France today is leading silent ceremonies to mark five years since the series of coordinated deadly attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, Paris cafes and the Stade de France.

Prime minister Jean Castex led the commemorations, unveiling commemorative plaques at each location that pay tribute to the 130 victims killed by Islamic State extremists on 13 Nov 2015.

Members of the public were not invited to attend commemorations this year due to the country’s partial lockdown.

Ninety of the deceased victims were killed at the Bataclan concert hall when three heavily armed gunmen opened fire during the Eagles of Death Metal concert which was attended by 1,500 people. The other 40 victims were killed during the four-hour attack on the capital.

 

Among victims of the Bataclan concert hall attack was Nick Alexander, the 35-year-old, British merchandise manager for Eagles of Death Metal, who had dedicated 15 years to the music industry.

His sister, Zoe Alexander, told the BBC: “He was such a people person which is why he was so good at his job, interacting with the fans on a daily basis. One of the things I admired most about Nick was that he was unashamedly himself and trod his own path throughout his whole life.”

On the first anniversary of the attack, the Alexander family created The Nick Alexander Memorial Trust, which provides music equipment to disadvantaged communities across the UK.

In aid of the memorial trust and charity Life for Paris, Queens of the Stone Age – which shares member Josh Homme with Eagles of Death Metal – are tonight broadcasting previously unseen footage from the Mona Museum in Tasmania.

Elsewhere, Serge Maestracci, a survivor of the Bataclan concert hall attack told DW: “Music has helped me get through the worst time of my life. I was terrified after the attack. I was afraid to leave the house, to cycle through the city. I felt I had become a target.

“Music was my way to express my feelings and what I’d experienced. When you go through an event like this, you think, I escaped death by a few minutes. Life grinds to a halt. But then, it continues and you think — I need to live life to the fullest!”

Survivor Christophe Naudin, who hid in a closet for hours with two dozen people during the attack, recently published a book called Diary of a Bataclan Survivor describing his post-traumatic stress.

“Writing up my thoughts instead of just brooding over what had happened has really helped me. And it was good to go through it again to get it into shape for the book. All this is part of my reconstruction,” he told DW.

Read IQ‘s interview with AEG Presents head Arnaud Meersseman, who was among those wounded at Bataclan.

France is again under high alert for terrorist attacks after three Islamic extremist attacks since September have killed four people.

 


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