The Latest: People pay tribute to Bataclan victims
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on events to mark the 2nd anniversary of the worst terror attacks in France (all times local):
A crowd of people is paying tribute to the victims of the Nov. 13, 2015, attacks, laying roses and lighting candles near the Bataclan concert hall.
In silence, Parisians and tourists were pausing in front of the commemorative plaque with the names of the 90 victims of the attack at the Paris concert hall. Many were crying.
Massive security was deployed in the streets of the capital near the sites of the attack.
Parisian Elisabeth Bornand, 56, white roses in her hand, said “I came to show my support to the injured people, the victims’ families. Show them we don’t forget.”
Police granted access to the area around the Bataclan after Monday’s official ceremony in the presence of the victims’ families, rescuers, French President Emmanuel Macron, former President Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
Members of California rock band Eagles of Death Metal are giving a surprise performance in Paris to mark two years since Islamic extremists stormed the group’s concert in Paris.
Visibly moved, singer Jesse Hughes took to a stage set up for a memorial ceremony Monday on a Paris plaza, saying, “I’m so happy and pleased to see all of you. The only reason we’re still standing is because you all still love rock and roll.”
He led the crowd in a singalong of Duran Duran’s “Save a Prayer” and then sang Eagles of Death Metal song “I Love You All the Time” with some French lyrics.
After singing, he hugged band members and others, and handed out white roses to the crowd gathered for memorial events.
The group’s concert at the Bataclan theater on Nov. 13, 2015, turned into a bloodbath that left 90 dead, while 40 others were killed at Paris cafes and the national stadium.
Multicolored balloons are taking to sunny skies above Paris in honor of the 130 victims of attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, Paris cafes and the national stadium.
The balloon release Monday was part of a day of commemoration events marking two years since the Nov. 13, 2015, Islamic State attacks.
French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte were among those releasing the balloons into the air after a memorial concert.
Macron embraced parents and siblings of victims who gathered for Monday’s ceremonies, patting others on the back and listening to them talk about lost loved ones.
Leading politicians from rival political parties took part in the somber commemorations, including Francois Hollande, who was president during the attacks.
Silence has descended outside France’s national stadium in honor of an immigrant killed by a suicide bomber in the opening salvo of the country’s deadliest terrorist attacks.
French President Emmanuel Macron and the mayor of Saint-Denis laid a wreath of red, white and blue flowers Monday at a plaque in memory of Portuguese immigrant Manuel Dias, then held a moment of silence.
Dias was the first victim of a team of Islamic State extremists who went on to attack Paris cafes and the Bataclan concert hall on Nov. 13, 2015.
Francois Hollande, France’s president at the time, described hearing the explosion that killed Dias from inside the Stade de France, where he was attending a soccer match.
Hollande told France-2 television he didn’t want to flee “so as not to let anyone believe there was a risk to the public.” He said that decision “surely saved lives.”
French President Emmanuel Macron, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and victims’ families are paying homage to 130 people killed two years ago when Islamic State extremists attacked the City of Light.
Ceremonies are being held at the Stade de France national stadium, cafes in eastern Paris and the Bataclan concert hall to commemorate France’s worst-ever terror attacks.
Security is tight for the memorial events — part of the new normal in France since Nov. 13, 2015. The attacks that night ushered in nearly two years of state of emergency, replaced just two weeks ago with a tough counterterrorism law allowing police wider latitude against anyone suspected of links to radicalism.
All but one of the attackers were killed. France’s counterterrorism prosecutor says authorities are still looking for suspects involved in the attacks.