Europe

Audio recording of Bataclan terror attack played in Paris court

A landmark trial into the 2015 Paris terror attacks has heard audio from the massacre at the Bataclan concert hall.

The short recording came from a dictaphone that had remained on and had captured the entire night.

Voices of the attackers could be heard, as well as gunshots, explosions, and the sounds of screaming.

An association of victims had requested that a few minutes of the audio recording be played in court.

Arthur Denouveaux, the president of Life for Paris, who himself survived the Bataclan massacre, said the audio allowed people to “realise the horror in another way”.

The president of the court, Jean-Louis Périès, granted his request to play the audio after inviting those who wished to leave the courtroom.

Several people embraced in the public gallery as the clip was played, while others left the room.

Ninety people were killed when three gunmen stormed the Bataclan concert hall and took hostages on 13 November 2015. French police later entered the theatre before all three attackers were killed.

A total of 130 people were killed and dozens more wounded in the deadliest attacks in France since World War II.

Fourteen people are on trial in Paris, including the only surviving member of the so-called Islamic State group cell that claimed responsibility. Another six people are being tried in absentia.

The case, featuring 1,800 plaintiffs and more than 300 lawyers has been dubbed by French media as “the trial of the century”.

Survivors of the Bataclan massacre have been testifying in court for more than two weeks.

Audio from the Bataclan concert hall captured the moments the gunmen first entered the theatre during a performance by the American rock band, Eagles of Death Metal.

On Thursday, the Paris court heard the voice of one of the three attackers, stating the attacks were “for Syria and Iraq,” while also mentioning then-French President François Hollande.

“We are bombing on land here. We don’t need planes,” the voice said at the beginning of the short audio recording, before a gunshot.

“The first one to stand up, I shoot. The first one who moves, I put a bullet in his head. Is that clear? The first one who tries to be a vigilante, I kill him. Is that clear?”

Another two gunshots follow before an attacker says “you can only attack your president François Hollande.”

“You can blame your president. He is the one who led to this massacre today and you should know that this is only the beginning,” the clip continues.

Several shots are then heard, a man screaming, and then the sound of an explosion — reported to be one of the attacker’s suicide belts.

The trial into the 2015 Paris attacks will last until May 2022 with 145 days of scheduled hearings.

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