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Warwick students in Paris: Paris attacks

Att least 128 people have been killed in a string of attacks perpetrated by ISIS in Paris on Friday 13 November. The Boar spoke to Warwick students in Paris following the attacks

The attacks were deadliest attack on France since WW2 and on Europe since the 2004 Madrid bombings, ISIS have claimed responsibility and have justified the attacks upon French intervention in Syria.

Warwick students turned out on the piazza in solidarity after the attacks Photo: Sophie Cowling

These attacks follow the January Charlie Hebdo magazine massacre and an attack on the Jewish supermarket.

The largest of Friday night’s attacks was on the sold out death metal concert in the 1,500 seat Bataclan Hall. As well as this, Parisians were attacked in at least five other locations. Soon after the start of the events President Hollande declared a state of emergency for the army to take back control of the streets of Paris.

Currently, many Warwick students are studying in Paris as part of the year-abroad scheme.

April Roach, “We were all very shaken after hearing the news” Photo: April Roach

April Roach, an English Literature student told the Boar: “I was babysitting for a French family just outside of Paris when I heard the news… Thankfully I was able to get home safe”

She said, that the French family “spoke of a friend who was caught up in the shootings at the Bataclan Concert hall. He managed to escape while the shooters were recharging their guns.”

She added: “Thankfully, all of the Warwick students are safe that I know. One of my friends was made to stay in a restaurant for her own safety and some other friends had terrible getting home as most metros were closed.”

April also said that the Warwick students in Paris that she knows were “all very shaken after hearing the news especially as a group of us were supposed to visit a friend’s apartment that evening, who lives near the Republique station where one of the shootings happened.”

However, she expressed some disappointment about how the host University in Paris had dealt with the situation she said: “We have yet to hear from the Paris-Sorbonne University and are anxious to know students are safe.”

Rosie Hurley, “It’s still hard to comprehend and get our heads around” Photo: Rosie Hurley

Rosie Hurley, a third-year English student who is also studying in Paris, commented: I was at home when I heard what had happened – a friend messaged a group chat on Facebook saying that there’d been a shooting and to stay inside. It was still scary and shocking following updates on social media and checking friends were ok (which thankfully they all are).”

Rosie told us that she went out this morning to the supermarket: “Everything seemed to be going on as normal – the shop was really busy.

But she said: “We’ve heard that the country’s gone into 3 days of national mourning, so I’d imagine things aren’t going to be going back to normal anytime soon, and it’s hard to imagine how it can ever really go completely back to how it was before”

Rosie added: “We haven’t heard anything from the Sorbonne as yet, no updates on social media or emails of advice or concern, which is disappointing. We have however heard from Warwick this afternoon, the study abroad team wanted us to email letting them know we were safe.”

Rosie finished: “It’s still hard to comprehend and get our heads around it all, but I’m grateful for the network we have here of other Warwick students, everyone’s been supporting each other.”

Professor Seán Hand, Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, released a statement midday today to Warwick Students in Paris.

He said: “Following last night’s attacks in Paris, in which at least 120 people have been killed, France has declared a state of national emergency. As Warwick students in Paris, we wanted to contact you to let you know that your welfare is our main priority. If you wish to speak to anyone about your safety or welfare”

A minuites silence, organised by the French-speaking society, will be held at the plaza on Monday at 11am in light of these attacks.

Peter Dunn, director of press and policy stated that the University’s “primary concerns have naturally been for the safety and welfare of all our students.”

He added: “The University has contacted over a hundred students who were potentially affected. The School of Modern Languages and Cultures has independently emailed all their students asking them to confirm their safety; and they were very reassured and relieved by replies indicating both that the students were safe and were often in direct touch with one another.”

The Boar is awaiting confirmation from the University that all students are safe.

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