Paris attacks anniversary: Survivors relive horror of November terror attacks that killed 130
On Saturday, rock superstar Sting reopened Bataclan, the concert hall where the November carnage culminated. Photograph: (AFP)
On Sunday, French President Francois Hollande and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo will hold a series of somber ceremonies, unveiling plaques commemorating the victims at six sites targeted in the November Paris attacks.
A year to the day, the people have not forgotten the deadly attack by the Islamic State gunmen and suicide bombers that killed 130 people.
The first ceremony will take place outside the Stade de France national stadium where three suicide bombers detonated their explosives during an international football match, followed by a rally of attacks at bars and restaurants in the trendy neighbourhood on the fateful Friday evening.
Hollande will also visit the refurbished Bataclan, the concert hall where 90 people were killed on November 13, 2015. On Saturday, rock superstar Sting reopened the hall with a hugely symbolic show. "We will not forget them," the British singer told the crowd in French after a minute's silence for the victims.
"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," he said. Sting began the emotionally charged concert with his song
"Fragile", singing: "Nothing comes from violence and nothing will."
Scores of survivors, who had been determined to return to the scene of the attack attended the sold-out concert.
"It's the first time I've been in a public space for a year. I haven't been to the cinema, to a concert, I get my shopping delivered -- I've always stayed at mine," said the man in his thirties, who did not want to give his full name.
"Tonight I'm taking my life back like it was before. It's a duty, there's an obligation to be here -- because there are 90 people who can't come anymore," he added, visibly moved, his hands trembling.
The wave of attacks profoundly shook France but Prime Minister Manuel Valls vowed Saturday that "Islamist terrorism" would be defeated once and for all.
"Terrorism will strike us again," he warned. "But we have in ourselves all the resources to resist and all the strength to beat it," he said as the country remains under a state of emergency a year on.
(WION with inputs from AFP)