Paris welcomes back Le Petit Cambodge after terror attacks

Paris welcomed back one of its most popular restaurants on Monday when Le Petit Cambodge reopened for business four months after being targeted in the Paris terror attacks.

Paris welcomes back Le Petit Cambodge after terror attacks
Photo: AFP

“Now we get back to life, we could not wait to reopen,” said an emotional Kirita Gallois one of the three owners of Le Petit Cambodge which reopened on Monday.

The restaurant is located opposite the Carillon bar in the trendy Canal Saint Martin area of Paris’s hip 10th arrondissement.

On November 13th gunmen unleashed a volley of machine gunfire into crowds enjoying a night out at both establishments, killing 15 people. Three of the victims are believed to have died in Le Petit Cambodge.

(The press were there to see the restaurant reopen. Photo: AFP)

The restaurant owners and their team of 17 people have waited four months, mostly out of the limelight, to be able to get back to work.

In a testament to the defiance and courage of those who witnessed the atrocity that night, all of the 17 members of staff are back.

“Everybody wanted to come back,” said Gallois. “This is a very special day. Since November 13th it has been a bit complicated, but we are happy to be here.”

(The flowers around Le Petit Cambodge and Le Carillon are gone as normal life returns. AFP)

The restaurant has been completely redone to try to erase some of the physical and psychological scars from that night.

A little mosaic has been added to the back of the restaurant, which acts as a memory of the attacks.

“It represents the stars for those who survived,” said Gallois.

A return to normal may still take some time, although the restaurant was reportedly full within one hour on Monday. Before the attacks Le Petit Cambodge was regularly packed and people would stand outside to queue for a seats.

But if the Carillon over the road is anything to go by, it may take a while before all of the old customers come flooding back.

While the Carillon, which opened in January, was packed out on its opening night, the owners have admitted that business is not what it was before the attacks, when the terrace outside was standing room only.

(This was the scene in the days after the Paris terror attacks. Photo: AFP)

But with spring in the air, there is hope that Le Petit Cambodge and the Carillon will prove a magnet for Parisian socialites once again.

Café Bonne Biere, le Comptoir Voltaire and Casa Nostra have all reopened since the attacks.

The only bar targeted by the terrace gunmen that remains closed is La Belle Equipe on Rue de Charonne, where 19 people lost their lives. No date has been given for the reopening, but a notice on Facebook says “it will open one morning in 2016 at 8am as usual.”

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Paris attacker trial to begin ‘late 2021’: prosecutors

The trial of 20 people charged over the November 13, 2015 jihadist attacks in Paris that were France's deadliest peacetime atrocity will get underway in late 2021, sources close to the case and prosecutors said on Friday.

Paris attacker trial to begin 'late 2021': prosecutors
Rescuers evacuate a victim from outside the Bataclan club on November 13th. Photo: Miguel/AFP
The night of carnage on November 13, 2015 saw 130 people killed and 350 wounded when Islamist suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the Stade de France stadium, bars and restaurants in central Paris and the Bataclan concert hall.
The trial in Paris will begin on September 8, 2021 and end in March 2022, lawyers were told at a meeting at the Paris court. National anti-terror prosecutors confirmed the dates to AFP.
Just one of the suspected perpetrators — French-Belgian Salah Abdeslam — will appear in court with the 19 others accused of providing various logistical support. Six of them are targets of arrest warrants and will be tried in absentia.
The other attackers, including the suspected coordinator of the attacks — Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud — were killed in the wake of the strikes which were which were claimed by extremists from the Islamic State (IS) group.
The trial will be a massive undertaking, with 110 days of hearings envisaged. It had been expected in January 2021 but was put back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement of the beginning of the trial comes with the country again on its highest security alert following three attacks in the last months blamed on Islamist radicals.
In September, the trial had got underway of suspected accomplices in the massacre by Islamist gunmen in January 2015 of staff on the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly, which had published cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.
True to its defiant reputation, the magazine then republished the cartoons to mark the start of the trial.
In the wake of that move, a Pakistan-born man wounded two people with a meat cleaver on September 25 outside Charlie Hebdo's former offices.
Teacher Samuel Paty, who had shown his class the cartoons, was beheaded outside his school on October 16 by an Islamist radical from Chechnya. And on October 29 a man recently arrived from Tunisia killed three people with a knife in a Nice church.
In the wake of those attacks President Emmanuel Macron presented draft legislation on cracking down on radical Islamist activity and vowed France will never renounce the right to blaspheme, in moves that have drawn anger in some Muslim countries.