The Mercury

France pays homage to terrorism victims


PARIS: France yesterday held a ceremony in homage to the victims of terrorism, paying respects to hundreds of people whose lives were lost during a year marked by a string of violent attacks.

Speaking to survivors in Paris, President François Hollande praised their courage as an example for the country and assured them of medical and psychologi­cal aid from the state.

Paying respects to the victims, Hollande said, “They were beings full of life, innocents who did not hate anyone but who were killed by hatred.” He also announced reforms to make funding for terrorism victims more transparen­t, saying the decisions of the funds should be based on “human relations” rather than “mechanical criteria”.

The ceremony, organised by victims associatio­ns every year for nearly two decades, marked terrorism attacks across the world, including those in Brussels, Belgium, and Ouagadougo­u, Burkina Faso.

The annual event was first organised on the anniversar­y of a 1989 bomb explosion on a French flight scheduled to travel to Paris. In the past year, France has seen selfstyled radical Islamists carry out attacks in Paris and Nice that claimed more than 200 lives. – dpa

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