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TERRORISM

Eagles of Death Metal to play in Paris on Sunday

Eagles of Death Metal, whose gig was targeted during terror attacks in Paris last month, will return to the stage on Sunday in the French capital with U2, Billboard magazine reported on Friday.

Eagles of Death Metal to play in Paris on Sunday
The Eagles of Death Metal concert sign outside the Bataclan theatre in Paris on November 18. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

The California band will join U2 for the Irish rockers' final song at the AccorHotels Arena, also known as Bercy, Billboard said, in what promises to be a highly emotional moment for both bands and the thousands in the crowd.

Eagles of Death Metal, which was a cult act until the attacks, will resume its halted European tour in February.

Sunday's performance will include Eagles of Death Metal co-founder Josh Homme (also of Queens of The Stone Age), who rarely tours with the band and was absent during the November 13 attack at the Bataclan theater, where 89 people were killed.

Eagles of Death Metal has already said it wants to be the first to play the Bataclan when it reopens.

U2's performances on Sunday and Monday were originally scheduled for November 14 and 15 but were postponed after the attacks, which were claimed by the extremist Islamic State group.

Gunmen attacked nearly simultaneously targets across Paris, killing 130 people in total.

The band sat down for a full interview with Vice.com in Los Angeles last month after returning to America following the carnage.

They detailed the instant decisions they took to save their lives and the horrors they saw as the gunmen emptied round after round indiscriminately into the crowd.

U2 frontman Bono told The New York Times that his band had helped Eagles of Death Metal in the aftermath of the attacks, including buying the rockers new phones since their phones had been left inside the venue.

U2 also provided counseling and offered Eagles of Death Metal use of its plane.

TERRORISM

US vice president lays wreaths at site of 2015 Paris terror attacks

US Vice President Kamala Harris and French Prime Minister Jean Castex laid wreaths at a Paris cafe and France's national football stadium Saturday six years since deadly terror attacks that left 130 people dead.

US vice president lays wreaths at site of 2015 Paris terror attacks
US Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff lay flowers after ceremonies at Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, at which 130 people were killed during the 2015 Paris terror attacks. Photo: Sarahbeth Maney/POOL/AFP

The attacks by three separate teams of Islamic State group jihadists on the night of November 13, 2015 were the worst in France since World War II.

Gunmen mowed down 129 people in front of cafes and at a concert hall in the capital, while a bus driver was killed after suicide bombers blew themselves up at the gates of the stadium in its suburbs.

Harris, wrapping up a four-day trip to France, placed a bouquet of white flowers in front of a plaque honouring the victims outside a Paris cafe.

Castex attended a minute of silence at the Stade de France football stadium, along with Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, before laying wreaths at the sites of the other attacks inside Paris.

In front of the Bataclan concert hall, survivors and relatives of the victims listened to someone read out the names of each of the 90 people killed during a concert there six years ago.

Public commemorations of the tragedy were called off last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Last year we weren’t allowed to come and we all found it really tough,” said Bruno Poncet, who made it out alive of the Bataclan.

But he said the start of a trial over the attacks in September meant that those attending the commemoration this year felt more united.

‘Overcome it all’

“We’ve really bonded thanks to the trial,” he said. “During previous commemorations, we’d spot each other from afar without really daring to speak to each other. We were really shy. But standing up in court has really changed everything.”

The marathon trial, the biggest in France’s modern legal history, is expected to last until May 2022.

Twenty defendants are facing sentences of up to life in prison, including the sole attacker who was not gunned down by police, Salah Abdeslam, a French-Moroccan national who was captured in Brussels. Six of the defendants are being tried in absentia.

Poncet said he felt it was crucial that he attend the hearings. “I can’t possibly not. It’s our lives that are being discussed in that room, and it’s important to come to support the others and to try to overcome it all.”

Survivors have taken to the witness stand to recount the horror of the attacks, but also to describe life afterwards.

Several said they had been struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, grappling with survivor’s guilt, or even feeling alienated from the rest of society.

Saturday’s commemorations are to wrap up with a minute of silence at the Stade de France in the evening before the kick-off for a game between France and Kazakhstan.

It was during a football match between France and Germany that three suicide bombers blew themselves up in 2015.

Then-French president Francois Hollande was one of the 80,000 people in the crowd, before he was discreetly whisked away to avoid triggering mass panic.

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