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Paris: A troubling video showing a firefight between the French police and the terrorists who attacked Bataclan concert hall in Paris has surfaced.
Award-winning photographer Patrick Zachmann of Magnum Photos captured the firefight with his iPhone. The video has now gone viral.
Watch it here:
Meanwhile, another video footage emerged on Sunday which appears to show the moment gunfire halted a concert by Eagles of Death Metal at the Bataclan hall in Paris.
Watch it here:
France was in mourning on Sunday as investigators identified one of the seven terrorists who massacred 129 people in Mumbai-type attacks here as a Parisian with a criminal record.
A severed finger of the terrorist was found in the blood-stained Bataclan concert hall where one group of killers went on a shooting spree when an American band was playing, killing 80 to 100 music lovers.
Prosecutors identified the terrorist as Omar Ismail Mostefai, a 29-year-old French citizen of Algerian origin with a criminal record. He was known to have been radicalized, media reports said.
A car was also found in a Paris suburb with many automatic rifles hidden in its back seat.
French prosecutors said the bloody Friday night attacks on six spots packed with tourists in Paris were carried out by three coordinated teams of gunmen and suicide bombers.
The deadly attack — akin to the way terrorists from Pakistan ravaged Mumbai in November 2008 killing 166 Indians and foreigners — also left an estimated 350 people wounded. Many were in critical condition.
The Friday targets also included a major stadium, restaurants and bars in Paris.
It was the worst act of violence in Paris since World War II. President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and ordered a curfew in the French capital — for the first time in 70 years.
Security forces have said all the terrorists involved in the well-coordinated attacks were killed. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bloodbath and threatened more bloodshed because of France’s participation in the US-led attacks on the terrorist group.
Six suspects were detained in Paris, among them Mostefai’s brother, father and sister-in-law. They were being interrogated.
BBC said investigators were working on the theory that there may have been another team of attackers who managed to flee the scene.
The discovery of a Syrian passport near the body of one of the attackers has raised suspicion that some of the killers may have entered Europe as a part of an influx of people feeling Syria’s civil war.
Amid national mourning and a sense of disbelief, France continued the grim task of identifying the dead and tending to the wounded.
According to Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, “several dozen” bodies had been identified.
The victims, besides the French, include those from Britain, Sweden, Italy, the US and Spain.
Three crisis centres were set up to counsel victims and their families. Many others resorted to social media to try to find out the fates of their missing loved ones, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Alexis Debreil, 38, was recovering at a hospital after being shot in the knee at Le Petit Cambodge restaurant where he was dining with two friends.
He said people were lying on top of one another on the floor of the restaurant as the bullets whizzed above.
“I know a lady died next to me. At one point I tried to wake her up. I stroked her hair and said, ‘Stay with us, hang in there.’ I know she was alive at that point because I saw her torso move. Then she went completely white and I knew she’d died,” he recounted.
In response to appeal for blood donations, Parisians responded en masse, lining up at hospitals and other centres.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said France would continue with air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria. President Hollande cancelled his plans to attend the G20 in Turkey.
(With inputs from IANS)
NEW DELHI - India Navy sending four ships for exercises and port visits with the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, its navy said Wednesday, as China's maritime power grows in the area.
The Indian ships will spend more than two months in the region, the navy said in a statement.
Commander Vivek Madhwal, the Indian navy spokesman, said four ships will take part.
The ships will also participate in a multilateral exercise, MALABAR-21, along with the Japanese, Australian and U.S. navies, the statement said.
It said the exercises will enhance coordination with friendly countries, based on common maritime interests and a commitment to freedom of navigation.
"Besides regular port calls, the task group will operate in conjunction with friendly navies to build military relations and develop interoperability in the conduct of maritime operations," the statement said.
The U.S., India, Japan and Australia are part of the Quad regional alliance created in response to China's growing economic and military strength. Washington has long viewed New Delhi as a key partner in efforts to blunt increasing Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
India is also in a continuing standoff with China over their disputed border in the eastern Ladakh region. The countries have stationed tens of thousands of soldiers backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets along their de facto border, called the Line of Actual Control.
Last year, 20 Indian troops died in a clash with Chinese soldiers involving clubs, stones and fists in a portion of the disputed border. China said it lost four soldiers.(VOA/HP)
The UK government on Thursday announced that it will move India from the red to the amber list on Sunday, in the country's latest update to the 'Red-Amber-Green' traffic light ratings for arrivals into England amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means the visit visas for the UK from India are open, in addition to other long-term visas that have remained open. But travellers from India arriving in England can complete a 10-day quarantine at home or in the place they are staying (not mandatorily quarantine in a managed hotel).
The UK government also announced that arrivals from France to England will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated. The step aligns France with the rest of the amber list now that the proportion of beta variant cases has fallen, where those who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised and administered in the UK, the US or Europe do not need to quarantine when arriving in England.
This move also simplifies the system to three categories, as well as the green watch list to give travellers notice where green status is at risk.
To continue cautiously reopening international travel, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will be added to the government's green list, having demonstrated they posed a low risk to UK public health.
Besides India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will also be moved from the red to the amber list, as the situation in these countries has improved.
The data for all countries will be kept under review and the government will not hesitate to take action where a country's epidemiological picture changes, a statement by the UK government said.
Following an assessment of the latest data, Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will be added to the red list as they present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of Covid-19.
Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we've made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.
"While we must continue to be cautious, today's changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public."
Since February, anyone who arrives in the UK from a red list country has been required by law to book a stay in a managed quarantine facility for 10 days.
In order to ensure taxpayers are not subsidising the costs of staying in these facilities, which have gone up, the cost will increase from August 12. Alternative payment arrangements remain available to those who genuinely cannot afford to pay and rates remain the same for children up to 12.(IANS/HP)
A Hindu temple in Pakistan's Punjab province was reportedly vandalized by hundreds of people after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated at a local seminary, received bail, a media report said on Thursday.
According to the Dawn news report, the incident took place on Wednesday in Bhong town, about 60 km from Rahim Yar Khan city.
Besides the vandalization, the mob also blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5), the report added.
Citing sources, Dawn news said that a case was registered against the minor on July 24 based on a complaint filed by a cleric, Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, of the Darul Uloom Arabia Taleemul Quran.
The sources said that "some Hindu elders did tender an apology to the seminary administration saying the accused was a minor and mentally challenged".
But, when a lower court granted him bail a few days ago, some people incited the public in the town on Wednesday and got all shops there closed in protest, the report quoted the sources as further saying.
A video clip showing people wielding clubs and rods storming the temple and smashing its glass doors, windows, lights, and damaging the ceiling fans went viral on social media.
In response, one Twitter user said: "Ganesh Temple, village Bhong in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab has been ravaged. Another day, another attack on Hindus in Pakistan."
Another said: "Yesterday, the mob ran amok at Temple over minor boy issue who allegedly urinated, the boy said to be mentally handicapped. Hindu community made an apology for the boy — a case registered against the nine-year-old boy. Those vandalized temples, no FIR registered against them."
District police spokesman Ahmed Nawaz Cheema said Rangers had been deployed in the troubled area and the situation was under control.
A small town close to the River Indus and Sindh-Punjab border, Bhong houses a number of gold traders who originally hail from Ghotki and Dehrki (Sindh), according to the Dawn news report.
A ruling PTI member representing the minority said he had been in touch with the local Hindu community and influential Rais family of Bhong since the issue surfaced.