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Hollande unveils memorial plaques at Paris attack sites, one year on

One year after horrific attacks killed 130 people in Paris, France President Francois Hollande unveils plaques at national sports stadium, bars and restaurants and Bataclan concert hall

13 November 2016, 5:05pm
French government officials and victims of the horrific Paris attacks that killed 130 people gathered today for a commemorative ceremony to mark the one year anniversary.

Outside Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, where more than a dozen people died and others were seriously injured when Islamic State gunmen opened fire during last year’s Paris attacks, François Hollande and the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, unveiled a memorial plaque listing the victims.

 “We need to mark the year anniversary to show that we’ll never forget them. Life goes on, but our neighbourhood will always remember this,” said Matthias, 46, a teacher, as grieving families gathered.

A year on from the coordinated attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, Hollande unveiled plaques at each of the targeted sites, beginning at the national sports stadium in Saint-Denis where the first suicide bombs were detonated, followed by the bars and restaurants attacked by gunmen, and the Bataclan concert hall, where 90 were killed as men with automatic weapons burst into a rock gig.

Hollande, the least popular president since the second world war, made no speeches so as not to be accused of trying to gain political capital out of the moment of national sadness six months before the presidential election next spring.

France is still under a national state of emergency, and a parliamentary investigation this summer identified multiple failings by France’s intelligence agencies before the attacks. Most of the attackers were from France or Belgium and several had been on police security lists. Members of the same terror cell were behind the Brussels attacks that killed 32 people in March.

Among those present at the unveiling of the Bataclan plaque were members of Eagles of Death Metal, the band that had been on stage when the gunmen hit.

On Saturday, British rock star Sting reopened the Paris Bataclan music hall to mark the venue’s reopening a year after three Islamist militants gunned down 89 people.

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