INTERNATIONAL

Paris marks first anniversary of attacks with sombre silence

France marked the anniversary of Islamic extremists’ coordinated attacks on Paris with a sombre silence on Sunday that was broken only by voices reciting the names of the 130 slain, and the son of the first person to die stressing the importance of integration. Michael Dias lauded the lessons his father Manuel, an immigrant from Portugal, taught him so youth can integrate instead of turning themselves into “cannon fodder”.

Under heavy security, President Francois Hollande unveiled a plaque outside the Stade de France “in memory of Manuel Dias”, pulling away a French flag covering it on a wall at one of the entrances to the French national stadium, where Dias was killed on Nov. 13, 2015, by a suicide bomber. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo joined the President. The Islamic State (IS) group had claimed responsibility for the attacks.

At the Stade de France, on the northern edge of Paris, Michael Dias said his father Manuel was “living proof that integration is possible, necessary” to end the madness of violence carried out by those who felt excluded.

The final stop, the Bataclan concert hall — which reopened on Saturday night with a concert by British pop star Sting — was the site of the bloodiest and longest attack.

Families of victims, security and rescue forces and some still trying to heal were among those present at the ceremonies. Jesse Holmes of the Eagles of Death Metal, the California band whose concert that night ended in a bloodbath, paid respects at the Bataclan ceremony, placing his hand on his heart as he departed.

France declared a state of emergency after the Nov. 13 attacks. It is still in effect, and Prime Minister Manuel Valls told the BBC that it would likely be extended. Still, that failed to prevent the killing of a police couple in their home last June, the July 14 Bastille Day truck attack in Nice that killed 86 revellers and the slaying of a priest at the altar of his Normandy church in July. — AP



State of emergency, in effect since the attacks, will be extended, says Prime Minister Manuel Valls



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