PARIS (AP) — The Paris Mosque is marking the sixth anniversary Friday of the attack at the Bataclan concert hall in the French capital that killed 90 people.
Muslim leaders laid a wreath at the venue in Paris’ 11th arrondissement, one day before a broader commemoration is due to take place. The mosque is holding its commemoration a day early to fall on a Friday, a special weekly prayer day, in a sign of respect.
“It is to show our solidarity with the victims that we have offered to meet here this Friday, which is for Muslims an important day,” Paris Mosque rector Chems-Eddine Hafiz said. “We wanted the imams to come to meet the relatives of the victims, share a moment of solidarity and hand over a wreath of flowers in memory of all the victims of the Bataclan, all without exception.”
The anniversary comes with renewed focus as 14 men are on trial in France in connection with a series of coordinated terror attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015.
In the bloody events, jihadists detonated suicide vests and opened fire on cafes in the French capital before massacring spectators of a concert at the Bataclan, killing a total of 130 people.
On Friday, victims’ associations also visited the site, saying it was a show of inclusion and to demonstrate that no community must be vilified.
“(It) is a testimony of real brotherhood that crosses religions and crosses the whole of humanity,” said Philippe Duperron, the president of the “13onze15” association, who came to the site Friday. Duperron’s son Thomas died at the Bataclan.
“We are extremely sensitive to this gesture that is being made today at the initiative of the Paris Mosque rector with the community of imams,” said Duperron, who has fought for awareness and justice since the attacks.
All nine attackers died during the 2015 attacks but a would-be attacker whose explosives vest malfunctioned and others accused of helping them are currently on trial in Paris.
This version has been corrected to show that Friday was a special weekly prayer day for Muslims, not a holiday.