How a night of hor­ror washes Paris in blood

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

PARIS: The at­tack­ers worked in three syn­chro­nized teams, wear­ing match­ing sui­cide vests and car­ry­ing the same weapons. In an ex­cru­ci­at­ing half-hour, they un­leashed their terror.

One sui­cide bomb­ing af­ter an­other at the na­tional sta­dium, sprays of gun­fire in the crowded restau­rants and streets of cen­tral Paris, and fi­nally a hostage stand­off that drenched a 19th-cen­tury dance hall with the blood of dozens of young peo­ple out for a night of rock mu­sic. Paris pros­e­cu­tor Fran­cois Molins said three sui­cide at­tack­ers died near the sta­dium, three in the con­cert hall, and one fur­ther south on the same boule­vard.

Here is how it hap­pened, based on ac­counts from French au­thor­i­ties and wit­nesses.

9 p.m.

Kick­off of the France-Ger­many soc­cer match at the French na­tional sta­dium and the be­gin­ning of the rock show at the Bat­a­clan con­cert hall. Both packed with fans, the match in­cludes French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande among spec­ta­tors. In the au­di­ence at the Ea­gles of Death Metal show is the sis­ter of French striker An­toine Griez­mann, who started in Fri­day night’s game.

9:20 p.m. A man with a Syr­ian pass­port and an ex­plo­sives vest blows him­self up at Gate D of the sta­dium, killing him­self and a by­stander. The match con­tin­ues.

9:25 p.m. Gun­men in a black rented Seat Leon open fire on a bar and a restau­rant - Le Car­il­lon and Pe­tit Cam­bodge - killing 15 peo­ple and leav­ing more than 100 shell cas­ings of dif­fer­ent cal­ibers, in­clud­ing 7.62 mm, strewn at the scene. When the shoot­ing starts, Emilio Mac­chia, an Ital­ian book de­signer vis­it­ing for a pub­lish­ing fair, starts to run from the Car­il­lon. “A girl opened the door to her build­ing and let us in. We hid in­side with 10 or 15 other peo­ple. I still re­mem­ber one girl, she said she’d seen one huge man shoot­ing. That’s when I re­al­ized it was a terror at­tack.”

9:30 p.m. A sec­ond sui­cide bomber ap­proaches Gate H of the sta­dium, blow­ing him­self up but claim­ing no other vic­tims.

9:32 p.m. Gun­men in a rented Seat Leon open fire on a La Bonne Biere bar on La Fon­taine au Roi street, just around the cor­ner from the restau­rant shoot­ings. Five peo­ple are killed. About a hun­dred shells are left on the ground of dif­fer­ent cal­iber, in­clud­ing again 7.62 mm.

9:36 p.m. Hol­lande presses the cell phone to his ear in­side the glass-lined booth over­look­ing the soc­cer field, ab­sorb­ing the hor­ror tear­ing into the French cap­i­tal for the sec­ond time this year. The dig­i­tal clock above him ticks away the sec­onds in red: 21:36:49.

Just then, gun­men in a black Seat car at­tack Charonne street, killing 19 peo­ple. Se­bastien Ja­greau, a wit­ness who ar­rives shortly af­ter­ward, says the bod­ies of the dead and wounded were sprawled on ta­bles and the ground. “We saw a lady on the first ta­ble. I thought she had bump and then we re­al­ized it was a bul­let in her head and not a bump. She was stretched on the ta­ble with her beer next to her. Then I see a guy cry­ing be­cause his wife was dead. Then we go on and we re­al­ize we are in the mid­dle of a pond of blood.” Again, about 100 shell cas­ings are left on the ground, in­clud­ing 7.62 mm.

9:40 p.m. A black Volk­swa­gen Polo parks out­side the Bat­a­clan con­cert hall on Boule­vard Voltaire, and three peo­ple emerge, open­ing fire as they en­ter the packed venue. Ea­gles of Death Metal is sev­eral songs into their show and play­ing to a full house. The at­tack­ers en­ter, ap­par­ently un­no­ticed over the loud mu­sic, armed with au­to­matic weapons, their bod­ies wired with ex­plo­sives.

Among the hostage-tak­ers is a French­man, one week shy of his 30th birth­day, con­victed eight times be­tween 2004 and 2010 for mi­nor crimes and flagged for ties to Is­lamic rad­i­cals. In a brief com­mu­ni­ca­tion with se­cu­rity forces, the hostage-tak­ers in­voke Syria and Iraq. As shots ring out, peo­ple es­cape from side doors of the venue, some drag­ging bod­ies with them. One woman clings to a sec­ond-story win­dow, try­ing to get out of the line of fire. Among those to es­cape is Griez­mann’s sis­ter.

At that mo­ment, a sui­cide bomber det­o­nates his vest fur­ther down Boule­vard Voltaire. The bomber is the only vic­tim.

9:53 p.m. A sui­cide at­tacker about 400 me­ters (yards) from the sta­dium det­o­nates his vest, iden­ti­cal to those of the oth­ers with TATP ex­plo­sives. No one else is killed.

12:20 a.m. Se­cu­rity forces storm the Bat­a­clan. Two of the at­tack­ers det­o­nate their sui­cide vests; a third is shot by law en­force­ment and the vest ex­plodes. Eighty-nine peo­ple are killed, and many re­main crit­i­cally in­jured. Philippe Ju­vin, an emer­gency room doc­tor at the Ge­orges Pom­pi­dou hos­pi­tal, said he has never had to care for so many vic­tims at once. “The ma­jor­ity were gun­shot wounds in­flicted with weapons of war, of high cal­iber, in the tho­rax, the ab­domen, their legs and arms. Also, the psy­cho­log­i­cal trauma. The peo­ple that wit­ness th­ese kinds of events are deeply af­fected, even if some may not be phys­i­cally in­jured, it hurts their soul. That is why we had a psy­chi­a­trist with us.”— AP

PARIS: Women com­fort each other as they gather with oth­ers at a me­mo­rial site yes­ter­day out­side of the La Belle Equipe, in the 11th dis­trict of Paris, for vic­tims of the Novem­ber 13 at­tacks in Paris. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.