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Moment of Silence Begins Concert for Paris Attack Victims

  • VOA News

British musician Sting performs on stage at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, in this photo provided by Universal Music France, Nov. 12, 2016.

British musician Sting performs on stage at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, in this photo provided by Universal Music France, Nov. 12, 2016.

The Bataclan concert hall in Paris reopened Saturday night, nearly a year after 130 people were killed and nearly 500 wounded in the city in a coordinated attack by Islamic State (IS) militants.

Rock star Sting headlined the Bataclan concert, which started with a minute of silence to remember the 90 people who were gunned down in the music hall on November 13, 2015.

IS claimed responsibility for the November attacks on eight sites, including the concert hall, cafes and a soccer stadium. It was the worst extremist violence ever to hit France.

The November attacks came just 10 months after an attack on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and the resulting three-day manhunt for the suspects. In all, 17 people were killed, as were three suspects. IS claimed responsibility for that attack as well.

British musician Sting performs on stage at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Nov. 12, 2016. The show marked the reopening of the hall one year after suicidal jihadis turned it into a bloodbath and killed 90 revelers.

British musician Sting performs on stage at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Nov. 12, 2016. The show marked the reopening of the hall one year after suicidal jihadis turned it into a bloodbath and killed 90 revelers.

After the moment of silence, Sting, lead singer for the British band The Police before he began a long solo career, told the crowd in attendance: "Tonight we have two tasks to achieve: first, to remember those who lost their lives in the attack, and then to celebrate life and music in this historic place."

Daniel Psenny, who was wounded during the attack on the Bataclan last year, told The Associated Press that he was not apprehensive about Saturday's concert.

"It was a concert of reconciliation. We are starting a new life; we start to live again," Psenny told the AP.

However, Elodie Suigo, who lost six friends in the Bataclan attack, said, "It was difficult going through that door. I don't think I was the only one.

"Everyone was looking at each other thinking: 'What do we do here? We are lucky to be here, so let's get in.' We think about those who are not there anymore and we think about this place, how it was a year ago," Suigo told the AP.

Proceeds from Saturday's concert were earmarked for two charities helping survivors of the attacks, the Reuters news agency reported.

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