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How Paris was attacked a year ago

  • Published at 11:05 pm November 13th, 2016
How Paris was attacked a year ago
A year ago the Islamic State group brought its extremist war to Paris, seeding terror with attacks on a rock concert, the national stadium and bustling sidewalk cafes. Here is a look at the deadly events on the night of November 13, 2015, reports The Associated Press.

What happened: The attackers, the victims, the chaos

It began with suicide bombings outside the Stade de France around 9:20pm, during a match between the French and German national soccer teams, with President Francois Hollande in attendance. Three bombers killed one passerby. Within minutes, the shooting began in eastern Paris, as the cafes of the 10th and 11th arrondissements were booming with Friday night revelers. Six cafes were targeted by a three-man commando unit- Le Carillon, Le Petit Cambodge, Cafe Bonne Biere, Casa Nostra, La Belle Equipe and the Comptoir Voltaire. More than 400 shots were fired over about 10 minutes, leaving 39 people dead. Then came the Bataclan concert hall, where 90 others lost their lives.

Why France was targeted

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks, citing France’s military operation against extremists in Iraq and Syria alongside US and other forces. France has long been a favoured target of religious fundamentalists because of its strict secularism, including laws banning Muslim head-scarves in schools and face veils in public. Many of the attackers were French Muslims from communities frustrated by decades of failed integration efforts and entrenched discrimination.

How the Paris attacks network came together - and struck again

Seven attackers were killed the night of the attacks, either by blowing themselves up or being shot by police. Two others were killed in a police raid five days later. One key player escaped - Salah Abdeslam - and was arrested four months later in Belgium. But other members of the network survived, plotting new violence from family apartments in Belgium and IS bases in Syria or Iraq. Days after Abdeslam’s arrest, three attackers set off bombs in the Brussels airport and a Brussels subway train, killing 32 people. Those attackers also died and several suspects have been charged. The investigation continues.