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13/11/15 The day that Paris stood defiant

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Last Friday’s attacks on Paris were so sudden and so violent that, for my part, all was mixed up in my head. Information was numerous and ever-changing. Figures of bombings and shooting kept increasing, not to talk about those of deaths. Then everything went really fast: a state of emergency was declared on the whole of France. In contrast with opinion piece you can find on this page, here is a factual sum up of the events.

In the Stade de France, crowds were rather cheerful, as France was winning the football game against Germany. At 21:20 – Gate D – the first explosion could be heard. People thought it was fireworks and the game continued. It was actually a jihadist wearing a highly explosive bomb vest, committing suicide. Another person was killed due to the explosive blast. Ten minutes later – Gate H – another suicide bomber killed himself using the same kind of bomb vest.

At 21:53, 400m away from the stadium, a third man died after turning on his bomb vest.

Meanwhile, in bar Le Carillon and restaurant Le Petit Cambodge, shootings happened at 21:25, killing 15 people and severely injuring 10.

At 21:32, further away, in bar A la Bonne Bière, another shooting killed 5 and severely injured 8.

At 21:36, in bar “La Belle Équipe”, a third shooting happened, killing 19 and severely injuring 9.

At 21:40, in restaurant Le Comptoir Voltaire, a terrorist wearing a bomb vest severely injured one person.

At the same time, three men entered concert hall Le Bataclan, shooting everywhere in cold blood. They took hostages and had a brief talk with authorities outside. They invoked Syria and Iraq, then began to kill more people. More than two hours later, at 00:20, police entered the building. One jihadist was killed and the two other detonated their bomb vests. At least 89 people were killed.

French prosecutor of the Republic, François Mollins, reported a total of at least 130 deaths and 352 injured, including 99 in a critical state.There were similarities in the equipment of the terrorists. The vest bombs were all the same. The guns and Kalashnikovs as well. In addition to the simultaneity of the attacks, it is highly likely that they were coordinated. ISIS published a video, a written communiqué and a vocal message claiming the authorship of the attacks.

It was found out that one of the Bataclan’s terrorists was French. He was formally identified as Ismaël Omar Mostefaï, 29. He had been arrested several times and was known to French services for his radicalization in 2010.

Presumed instigator of the attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 28, was killed in St-Denis assault the 18th of November.

Right after the events, French president François Hollande declared, for the first time in France’s history, a state of emergency across the whole of France. And senate stated that it will last three more months. It means the circulation of people and vehicles is now restricted, with the closing of some public spaces.

Day and night, police search without control from a judge and monitor press publications. Re-establishment of border controls, prohibition of protests, and enhanced security in stations and airports are other measures that were taken as a reaction to one of the worst terrorists attacks in any French territory.

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Marine Dessaux

News Editor 2015/16

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