Tens of thousands of Muslims around France attended Friday prayers to pay special tribute to the victims of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, as the death toll rose to 130. Meanwhile, authorities confirm a third person was killed during a police operation earlier this week to thwart another planned attack.
A long line snaked in front of Paris’ Grand Mosque, as the faithful and those who joined in solidarity waited in the pouring rain to attend Friday prayers. Police patted down their bodies and searched their bags before letting them pass. Many said they’d never seen such reinforced security.
Those waiting to get in included 26-year-old Samuel Satori. Like everyone else here, he came to pray for the victims of last week's terrorist attacks — and for peace.
Sartori said Muslims have a duty to show that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. Muslims like himself, he said, are just as much victims of the Paris attacks as non-Muslims.
59-year-old Nacera Amellal, originally from Algeria, voiced her support for her diverse adopted homeland..
We’re for peace, we’re for France, she said. Long live France and long live Muslims.
Security scenes like those outside the Paris mosque will be the norm for the immediate future. The government has beefed up security around the country since the attacks. And on Friday, France’s Senate followed the National Assembly in voting to extend France’s state of emergency for another three months.
Meanwhile, authorities reported a third body was recovered from an apartment outside Paris following a police raid there on Wednesday. Those killed include the top suspect in the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
Another victim also was identified — 26-year-old Hasna Aitboulahcen. She was initially reported to have blown herself up during the assault, using a suicide vest. However, a police source was quoted late Friday as saying the suicide bomber in the apartment was a man, not a woman.