- Title: Bataclan survivor recounts attack one year on
- Date: 12th November 2016
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (FILE - NOVEMBER 13, 2015) (REUTERS) SPECIAL POLICE FORCES PREPARING SNIPER GUN SPECIAL POLICE FORCES MOVING FORWARD IN STREET WITH GUNS PEOPLE GATHERED OUTSIDE BATACLAN
- Embargoed: 27th November 2016 16:47
- Keywords: Bataclan Paris attacks France Islamists concert Eagle of Death Metal November 13 Emmanuel Domenach
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA005585183R
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC MATERIAL
Dozens and dozens of people gathered for a makeshift memorial in front of the Bataclan concert hall in Paris for days after France was struck by the worst militant attack in its history.
In all, 130 people were killed on November 13, 2015 when groups of gunmen and suicide bombers attacked the perimeter of the Stade de France sports stadium, the Bataclan and a string of six restaurants: La Belle Equipe, Le Petit Cambodge, Le Carillon, Cafe Bonne Bière, la Casa Nostra, and le Comptoir Voltaire, where Brahim Abdeslam, brother of living suspect Salah Abdeslam, blew himself up.
One year on, Emmanuel Domenach, a Bataclan survivor and vice-president of the association "13onze15" aimed at helping victims with their administrative, legal and psychological processes said healing from the attack was a long process.
"A month ago I would have told you that I was feeling better, that it wasn't behind me yet but things were moving forward nicely. But the arrival of November 13 threw me back into anxiety and stress and I think I understood, I'm finally convinced that I will never again be the same person, so the idea now is to go back to being a normal person but with this scar inside that in my opinion will always remain open," said the 29-year-old jurist who attended the ill-fated Eagles of Death metal concert with two of his friends.
At the Bataclan concert hall, three gunmen strapped with explosives took hostages and killed 90 people in the biggest loss of life during the violence.
Gunfire could be heard late on November 13 from inside the Bataclan theatre where rock group Eagles of Death Metal was performing in concert.
"During the song "Kiss the devil" we hear gunshots. Well at first I didn't think they were gunshots, I thought there were... I don't know the drums, crackers but... We always expect that a gun will make a crazy sound that one would recognise among a thousand others, well you don't at all," Domenach said.
"I saw a lot of blood, a lot of terrible things, I was flabbergasted and then at one point someone behind me said 'they're (the attackers) going up to the balconies, we're going to get shot like rabbits'. At that point I understood that if I didn't leave right away it would be over," he said, adding that in all the confusion and after losing his glasses, he was saved by a man called Didi who was in charge of security that night and who saved hundreds of people from certain death by opening the side entrances and emergency exits to the venue.
French security forces carried out an assault in the early hours of Saturday (November 14) after gunmen stormed the venue.
Photos of the aftermath of attacks show the injured being carried to safety and treated by emergency workers and the covered up bodies of the dead lying in the streets.
All emergency services were mobilized, police leave was cancelled, 1,500 army reinforcements were drafted into the Paris region and hospitals recalled staff to cope with the casualties.
The Paris concert venue enrolled rock star Sting for a performance to mark its reopening a year after the tragedy.
Proceeds from the November 12 concert will go to two charities catering to victims of the attacks of November 13, 2015, with some of those who were hurt in the attack being invited back to see the Sting reopener.
Eagles of Death Metal, the band which was performing when the deadly attacks took place, paid their respects at a memorial outside the Bataclan theatre in the city on December 8, 2015.
Members of the band were emotional as they laid flowers at the memorial and read messages left for loved ones.
At the end of November, the street outside the emergency exit of the Bataclan concert hall, which saw hundreds of panicked people running and screaming after the attack, reopened to the public.
For the first time since the bloody attacks, passers-by were able to see the damage caused by gunfire on walls and street signs near the venue. A bullet hole seen on a downspout near the emergency exit suggests a bullet that passed straight through the metal pipe.
Responsibility for the killings was claimed by the Islamic State group, which has called on its followers to attack France due to its involvement in military operations against the group in Iraq and Syria.
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