France stages mock Euro 2016 chemical terror attack

With France on heightened terror alert, authorities staged a simulation of a chemical attack on a fanzone at this summer's Euro 2016 tournament.

France stages mock Euro 2016 chemical terror attack
All photos: AFP

More than 700 security personnel and 1,200 police cadets took part on Thursday in a simulated chemical attack on a football match as part of security preparations ahead of the 2016 Euro Championships to take place in France in June and July.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said as he arrived for the exercise that it would help “ensure that this great sporting festival takes place in conditions of maximum security”.

Around 1,000 police cadets posing as football spectators were massed in a mock fan zone for the drill at the National Police School in the southern city of Nimes.

Suddenly, a massive explosion rocked the area and a cloud of gas rose into the air, sowing panic as the actors tried to flee to safety.

In the streets, rescue workers wearing gas masks and hazmat suits tended to actors posing as the injured and contaminated.

It was the first of several such drills planned in the run-up to the competition in the wake of last November's jihadist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.

One of the attacks took place at the Stade de France stadium in Paris as France were playing Germany in a football match, though the three suicide bombers were unable to enter the venue and only one person was killed outside.

The Stade de France will host the final of Euro 2016 on July 10th.

Three southern host cities – Marseille, Nice and Toulouse – will have fan zones for people to watch matches on giant screens outside the stadiums.

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Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim’s x-ray

A Paris court on Wednesday convicted a surgeon for trying to sell an X-Ray image of a wounded arm of a woman who survived the 2015 terror attacks in the French capital.

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim's x-ray

Found guilty of violating medical secrecy, renowned orthopaedic surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean must pay the victim €5,000 or face two months in jail, judges ordered.

Masmejean, who works at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in western Paris, posted the image of a young woman’s forearm penetrated by a Kalashnikov bullet on marketplace Opensea in late 2021.

The site allows its roughly 20 million users to trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – certificates of ownership of an artwork that are stored on a “blockchain” similar to the technology used to secure cryptocurrencies.

In the file’s description, the surgeon wrote that the young woman he had operated on had “lost her boyfriend in the attack” on the Bataclan concert hall, the focus of the November 2015 gun and bomb assault in which jihadists killed 130 people.

The X-Ray image never sold for the asking price of $2,776, and was removed from Opensea after being revealed by investigative website Mediapart in January.

Masmejean claimed at a September court hearing that he had been carrying out an “experiment” by putting a “striking and historic medical image” online – while acknowledging that it had been “idiocy, a mistake, a blunder”.

The court did not find him guilty of two further charges of abuse of personal data and illegally revealing harmful personal information.

Nor was he barred from practicing as prosecutors had urged, with the lead judge saying it would be “disproportionate and inappropriate” to inflict such a “social death” on the doctor.

The victim’s lawyer Elodie Abraham complained of a “politically correct” judgement.

“It doesn’t bother anyone that there’s been such a flagrant breach of medical secrecy. It’s not a good message for doctors,” Abraham said.

Neither Masmejean, who has been suspended from his hospital job, nor the victim were present for Wednesday’s ruling.

The surgeon may yet face professional consequences after appearing before the French medical association in September, his lawyer Ivan Terel said.