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Bataclan victims to file legal complaint over ‘inadequate’ police response

Stéphane de Sakuta, AFP | A woman leaves a bouquet on November 13, 2017 outside the Belle Equipe cafe which was targeted by gunmen in the Paris attacks which killed 130 people.

A group of 30 survivors and the families of victims of the Bataclan attack in Paris on November 13, 2015, are set to file a legal complaint demanding to know why an anti-terror unit was ordered to remain outside the concert hall during the massacre.

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“Two and a half years after the attacks, the families of the victims still don’t understand why eight (anti-terror) Sentinelle forces deployed in front of the Bataclan were prevented – by order – from intervening. We want a precise answer,” Samia Maktouf, one of the lawyers representing the victims and their families told French daily Le Parisien.

“They were forbidden from launching a physical intervention – in other words from entering [the Bataclan] – but also fromgiving any medical equipment to police officers carrying out first aid,” she said, adding that although they might not have been able to prevent people from dying, “they could at least have helped prevent the heavy loss of blood that resulted in [many] deaths”.

On the night of the terror attacks, which claimed 130 lives as gunmentargeted Parisian bars, cafés and the Stade de France sports stadium, the Sentinelle forces were among the first to arrive on the scene at the Bataclan. In the midst of the carnage, those soldiers were ordered to hold off. In a parliamentary hearing on the police response, an officer testified how he had requested permission to intervene but had been told by the Paris police: “Negative. You do not intervene militarily, you are not in a warzone.”

A total of 90 people were killed in the Bataclan attack alone.

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