28 Nov 2015

France holds memorial for Paris victims

8:55 am on 28 November 2015

France has held a national memorial service for the 130 people who died in the Paris attacks two weeks ago.

A picture taken on November 27, 2015, shows French national flags, candles and flowers at a makeshift memorial in Place de la Republique square in Paris.

A picture taken on November 27, 2015, shows French national flags, candles and flowers at a makeshift memorial in Place de la Republique square in Paris. Photo: AFP

Some 2,600 people attended the service in central Paris, including President Francois Hollande, survivors of the attacks and victims' families.

A minute's silence was held and the names of all the victims read out.

Attackers with assault rifles and suicide belts targeted a number of sites in the capital. Islamic State later said it was behind the assault.

French President Francois Hollande speaks at Les Invalides in Paris during the national memorial ceremony for the victims of the November 13 terrorist attacks.

French President Francois Hollande speaks at Les Invalides in Paris during the national memorial ceremony for the victims of the November 13 terrorist attacks. Photo: AFP / Galina Azule / Sputnik

Some of the survivors who attended were in wheelchairs, while members of the fire and ambulance services wore uniforms for the 45-minute ceremony in the courtyard of the historic Les Invalides complex.

In his speech, President Hollande said France would "do all it can to destroy this army of fanatics".

"France will operate relentlessly to protect its children," he said.

He said his country was stronger than those responsible for the terror attacks, who he said were betraying their God.

He vowed that France would respond with more music, concerts and sporting events, after some of the attacks targeted a concert venue and a stadium.

"What do the terrorists want? To divide us, to oppose us, to make us fight against each other. They will fail. They have the cult of death, but we have love. The love for life."

Among those attending the service were the parents of British victim Nick Alexander, who said that they were now "intrinsically linked" to those who had also lost loved ones.

"The outpouring of love from around the world has been a great comfort to us and makes us even more proud to have had Nick as our son," they added.

- BBC

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