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Parisians gather in Place de la République despite the state of emergency

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Parisians gather in Place de la République despite the state of emergency


Officials may have urged Parisians to stay home and off the streets yet defiant crowds still gathered in Place de la République, just as they had after Paris was last attacked.

Candles and flowers left in the square have formed an impromptu shine for the victims of the terror attacks.

It’s where one witness, Laure Benichou who lives close to the Bataclan concert hall – the site where the most of Friday night’s victims were killed by terrorists – felt the need to come.

“During the evening, we were at home in Boulevard Beaumarchais. We saw stretchers pass, we saw the police and paramedics mobilised.
We heard a lot of screaming, we heard gun shots, we were afraid, we were asked to stay indoors.”

(Laure Benichou captured some of the police activity on her mobile phone, filmed from the window of her apartment.)

“The police shone their lights on our faces so that we wouldn’t stay next to our windows. I haven’t been outside for the last two days. I was afraid to go out, afraid to go out with my child. But I think what we have to do principally is to come here together and to show that France is united.
But I feel pain for the victims’ families. All my thoughts are with them. I have a friend who has lost her boyfriend. There is a lot of pain … pain for each victim. But I think it is going to be all right but we have to stay together.”

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