France to mourn Paris attack dead

Friday, Nov 27, 2015,11:58 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Paris | France today will mourn the 130 people killed in the November 13 Paris attacks, with President Francois Hollande leading a solemn ceremony in honour of the victims. Families of those killed in France’s worst-ever terror attack, claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group, will join some of the wounded at ceremonies at the Invalides, the gilded 17th-century complex in central Paris that houses a military hospital and museum and Napoleon’s tomb.

The tribute will be national and republican, an official at the Elysee presidential palace said, referring to the French republic’s creed of liberty, equality and fraternity. It will take place in sobriety and solemnity, reflected by the beauty of the surroundings.

Hollande will break from a whirlwind diplomatic bid to build a broad military coalition to defeat IS. The marathon has taken him from Paris to Washington to Moscow in just a few days. He is expected to make a 20-minute address at the one-hour ceremony, which will be shown live on television.

In the run up to the commemoration, Hollande called on the French to hang out the Tricolour. Every French citizen can take part in the tribute by taking the opportunity to deck their home with a blue, white and red flag, the colours of France, government spokesman Stephane Le Foll quoted Hollande as saying.

But some victims’ families have said they will snub the event, accusing the government of failing to tighten security after terror attacks in January, when jihadist gunmen killed 17 people in Paris, mainly at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine. Thanks Mr President, politicians, but we don’t want your handshake or your tribute, and we hold you partly responsible for what has happened! Emmanuelle Prevost, whose brother was one of the 90 killed at the Bataclan concert hall, wrote on Facebook.

As the nation mourns the victims, an international manhunt is still on for two key suspects, Salah Abdeslam, who played a key logistical role in the wave of terror, and Mohamed Abrini, seen with Abdeslam two days before the November 13 atrocities.

France has stepped up its air strikes on IS targets in Syria and Iraq, where the group controls large areas of territory, and wants to create a more coordinated, concerted international effort to destroy the hardline Islamists.

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