Tulsa World

Terrorism trial begins in Paris

2015 incident was deadliest in France since World War II

- LORI HINNANT AND NICOLAS VAUX-MONTAGNY

PARIS — The trial of 20 men accused in a series of coordinate­d attacks on Paris in 2015 that spread fear across Europe and transforme­d France opened Wednesday in a custom-built complex embedded within a 13th-century courthouse.

Nine Islamic State group gunmen and suicide bombers struck within minutes of one another at several locations around Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, leaving 130 people dead and hundreds wounded. It was the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II and among the worst terror attacks to hit the West.

The worst carnage was at the Bataclan concert hall, where three men, dressed in black and armed with assault rifles, gunned down scores of people and grabbed a handful of hostages. Others targeted the national soccer stadium, where the president was attending a game, as well as cafes filled with people on a mild autumn night.

The lone surviving attacker from that night, Salah Abdeslam, is the key defendant — but he has so far refused to speak to investigat­ors, denying them answers to many of the remaining questions about the attacks.

Abdeslam, who fled the night of the attacks after ditching his car and a malfunctio­ning suicide vest, is the only defendant charged with murder. The other defendants present face lesser charges.

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