‘Paris united’: France mourns victims on anniversary of terror attacks

'Paris united': France mourns victims on anniversary of terror attacks
Photo: AFP
France on Tuesday marked three years since its worst ever terror attacks, when jihadists killed 130 people in Paris and injured hundreds of others.

“Three years later, Paris remembers again and always, more determined than ever to remain standing and united,” tweeted Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo on Tuesday, along with a picture of Paris Town Hall where banners reading “Paris united” and “Paris remembers” had been hung.

On Tuesday morning wreaths were to be laid at the six locations where gunmen and suicide bombers struck on November 13, 2015, targeting the national stadium as well as bars, restaurants and the Bataclan concert hall.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and several other ministers in the government were present along with the families of the victims who were killed at each location.

The ceremonies, as requested by the families of the victims were to be low-key.

A cortege will leave the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis to the north of Paris where a suicide bomber killed one person before heading to the bars and cafes and then the Bataclan music hall where two years ago plaques were unveiled bearing the names of all those who were killed.

In the afternoon the charity Life for Paris will hold a ceremony in memory of the victims at the town hall in the 11th arrondissement.

Electronic billboards around Pars beared the slogan “Fluctuat Nec Mergitur” – the city's motto which became a defiant slogan after the attacks and means “shaken but not sunk.” 

The attacks profoundly shook France and left the country under a state of emergency that lasted two years.

Some 7,000 troops meanwhile remain on the streets under an anti-terror operation known as Sentinelle, carrying out patrols and guarding vulnerable sites such as tourist hotspots.

The Paris attacks were among a series of jihadist assaults that have left more than 240 people dead in France since 2015, starting with the shooting at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The sprawling police investigation into the Paris attacks continues following an international manhunt for Salah Abdeslam, the only man directly involved in the attacks to have survived.

Abdeslam, a 28-year-old petty delinquent turned jihadist, was captured in a dramatic police operation in Brussels in March 2016 after four months on the run.

Police had hoped he could provide a wealth of information about the planning and execution of the attacks, but he has so far refused to cooperate with the investigation.

It is unclear when he will face trial.

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