Global impact of Paris attacks revealed as victims named
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Friday night’s attacks in Paris targeted concert-goers watching an American rock band as well as people eating and drinking in a part of the French capital popular with tourists, expats and locals, making their impact truly global.
As the personal details of some of the 129 victims begin to emerge, it is clear that people from countries around the world are among the dead in addition to the scores of French citizens who lost their lives.
At least one British victim has been named. Nick Alexander died when gunmen opened fire at the Bataclan concert hall where the California-based band 'Eagles of Death Metal' was playing. Alexander was the band’s merchandise manager.
“Nick died doing the job he loves and we take great comfort in knowing how much he was cherished by his friends around the world,” his family said in a statement.
The British Foreign Office said a “handful” of other Britons were also feared dead.
California State University confirmed that one of its students, 23-year-old Nohemi Gonzalez, had died. Gonzalez held dual Mexican-US citizenship, Mexico’s government said.
The university said Gonzalez, from El Monte, California, was attending Strate College of Design in Paris during a semester abroad programme. Gonzalez was in the Petit Cambodge restaurant with another Long Beach State student when she was fatally shot, Cal State officials said in a news conference Saturday.
Her mother, Beatriz Gonzalez, said Nohemi graduated early from high school and couldn't wait to go to college. "She was very independent since she was little," she said. Design professor Michael LaForte said Gonzalez stood out at the California university. "She was a shining star, and she brought joy, happiness, laughter to everybody she worked with and her students, her classmates."
Mexican-Spanish dual citizen, Michelle Gil Jaimez, was also killed. Gil Jaimez, of Tuxpan in the Mexican state of Veracruz, had studied at a business school in Lyon and was currently living in Paris. She had got engaged to her Italian boyfriend a few weeks ago, according to her Facebook page. Mexican officials did not give her age or say where she was killed.
Two young Tunisian sisters who lived in the French region of Creusot and were in Paris for a friend's birthday, also died in the attacks.
Two Portuguese nationals are also reported to have died. One was a 63-year-old man who lived in Paris and worked for the public transport system who was killed near the Stade de France sports stadium. The second victim, killed in the Bataclan music hall attack, was a dual national born in France in 1980.
Patricia San Martin Nunez, 61, a Chilean exile, and her daughter, Elsa Veronique Delplace San Martin, 35, were killed during the concert at the Bataclan venue. Elsa's 5-year-old son, also at the concert, survived, according to Chilean officials. San Martin Nunez had been exiled from Chile during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, and her daughter was born in France.
In a statement, Chile's Foreign Ministry described them as the niece and grandniece of Chile's ambassador to Mexico, Ricardo Nunez. "They were taken hostage, and so far we know they were killed in a cold and brutal manner," Nunez told Radio Cooperativa on Saturday. He said two people with them escaped alive.
Alberto Gonzalez Garrido, 29, of Madrid, was killed at the Bataclan. The Spanish state broadcaster TVE said Gonzalez Garrido was an engineer, living in France with his wife, also an engineer. They both were at the concert, but became separated amid the mayhem.
Valeria Solesin, 28, an Italian-born doctoral student at the Sorbonne was also killed at the concert. She had lived in Paris for several years and had gone to the Bataclan with her boyfriend. They lost track of each other as they tried to escape. Her mother, Luciana Milani, told reporters in Venice, "We will miss her very much, and she will be missed, I can also say, by our country. People like this are important."
Solesin had been working at the Sorbonne as a researcher while completing her doctorate. While at a university in Italy, Solesin had worked as a volunteer for the Italian humanitarian aid group Emergency. "It is tragic that a person so young, who is trying to understand the world and to be a help, finds herself involved in such a terrible event," said Emergency regional coordinator in Trento, Fabrizio Tosini.
Luis Felipe Zschoche Valle, 33, a Chilean-born resident of Paris was among the victims. Chile's Foreign Ministry said he had lived in Paris for eight years with his French wife and was killed at the Bataclan, where he had gone with his wife. He was a musician and member of the rock group Captain Americano.
Among the other victims were two Algerians, at least three Belgians, two Romanians, and one Moroccan.
With formal identification still ongoing, more foreign nationals could well be named as victims in the coming days.
France has set up an emergency telephone number for tourists in Paris and those calling for information from abroad: +33 1 45 50 34 60.
‘A heavy heart’
France has also named many of its nationals who were among the victims.
They include Mathieu Hoche, a technician who had worked for FRANCE 24 since the channel’s launch in 2006. He was 37 years old and the father of a young child. A lover of rock music, he was one of the 89 people who lost their lives at the Bataclan.
Thoughts go out to everyone in master control at F24 and all who loved Bataclan victim Mathieu Hoche. https://t.co/v9ImMmdUtM— François Picard (@FrancoisF24) November 14, 2015
Another journalist, music reporter Guillaume B Decherf, was also killed at the concert venue. The 43-year-old father of two wrote for les Inrocks magazine.
The death of Asta Diakite, a young woman who was also at the Bataclan, was confirmed by her cousin, French international footballer Lassana Diarra.
“It is with a heavy heart with which I speak today,” he said in a message on Twitter (below).
“My cousin, Asta Diakite, was among the victims of yesterday’s shootings. She was for me a point of reference, a support, a big sister.”
As friends and family tried desperately to reach loved ones at the six areas attacked on Friday, some took to social media to ask for help in finding those they had been unable to contact.
For many, those searches ended in heartbreak.
Georges Salines, father of French woman Lola Salines, appealed for information about his daughter on Twitter (see first tweet below), who had been at the Bataclan in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Later that day, he posted a message saying the search was over.
“I have had confirmation of Lola’s death. Thank you to all those that helped us today,” he said (see the second tweet below).
Several other victims have also been identified either formally or by friends and family on social media. Many more have yet to be named.
France, meanwhile, has declared three days of national mourning as the country comes to terms with the second deadly terrorist attack on the capital this year after the killings at Charlie Hebdo and a grocery store in January.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)