Balloons released in sign of hope in Paris, Sunday marks one year since Bataclan attack


PARIS (AP) — Some people cried, others simply lit candles or laid flowers at the Paris sites where Islamist extremists struck a year ago, killing 130, in coordinated attacks.

After a solemn and somber anniversary ceremony led by President Francois Hollande, people have paid respects to the dead at the Bataclan concert hall where 90 were killed, and restaurants and bars dotting a lively neighborhood.

Hannah Schumann, a nurse, says that “everybody is emotional. I’m crying.”

In a sign of hope, several hundred balloons have been released from the nearby town hall in the presence of Hollande, and lanterns are to be floated along the Canal Saint-Martin as dusk nears.

President Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo have unveiled two plaques at the Bataclan concert hall, the final stop in a somber anniversary commemoration of the 130 victims of the attacks.

The 90 names of those killed at the Bataclan were read out before a minute of silence was observed. It came after the dead and injured were honored at the six other sites attacked by Islamist extremists.

The Bataclan attack was the bloodiest and the longest, beginning at 9:40 p.m. and ending at 12:23 a.m. after a group of concertgoers taken hostage were freed. The youngest and oldest victims of the Paris attacks were a 17-year-old and a 68-year-old, both killed at the Bataclan.

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