Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

William and Kate meet attack survivors as France hit by airport shooting

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have heard the moving stories of Bataclan terrorist attack survivors as France was rattled by a security incident at a major airport.

As William and Kate met a 25-year-old woman who survived being shot seven times during the 2015 atrocity that killed 130 people, reports were coming in of a man shot dead after grabbing a soldier's weapon at Paris Orly Airport.

Despite the incident there were no signs of security - which included armed French police - being increased around the couple as they travelled around Paris,

The Duke and Duchess were in the French capital on a two-day visit dubbed a Brexit charm offensive by some of the local press.

The airport is a number of miles from Paris and a Kensington Palace spokesman said the royal visit was not affected by the shooting.

But the incident was a further blow to the psyche of France, which remains under a state of emergency after attacks over the past two years that have killed 235 people.

During William and Kate's visit to Les Invalides - Paris' historic military hospital - the couple chatted to the 25-year-old survivor, known only as Jessica, who was shot in the leg, hip and back as she dined with friends at La Belle Equipe restaurant.

They were also introduced to Kevin, a 28-year-old fireman, and a Bataclan concert-goer who was shot in the leg.

The Duke said: ''We think you are very strong and very brave, you've made amazing progress.''

Jessica said: ''At first (after the shooting) I was a bit shy and didn't want to talk about it because of all of the pain and grief.

''But now I want to say we are not only victims, we have lives, we have boyfriends, girlfriends, work. I want to speak about my friend who died to honour him, I want people to remember who he was.''

She was shot on her birthday as she dined with three female friends outside the restaurant, who all survived the attack. Her friend Victor Munoz, who was inside, was killed with one shot.

France's defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the man was shot after assaulting three soldiers patrolling the airport.

He added that the attacked soldier managed to hold on to her rifle and her colleagues opened fire to protect her and the public.

French president Francois Hollande said investigators will determine whether the attacker ''had a terrorist plot behind him''.

Authorities have said the 39-year-old Frenchman killed was involved in an incident earlier in the day when he fired bird shot at police during an early morning traffic stop before speeding away and heading for the airport south of Paris.

No-one else in the busy terminal was hurt, but thousands of travellers were evacuated from the area and flights were diverted to the city's other airport.

William and Kate's visit has been overshadowed by newspaper criticisms the Duke has faced for his weekend away on a "lads only" ski trip to Verbier.

The papers poked fun at his antics on the dance floor and in the DJ booth but also questioned his judgement at missing a major Commonwealth celebration with the Queen for the social event.

While in Paris - often cited as the one of the world's most romantic cities - the royal couple visited its iconic Musee D'Orsay, which houses the largest collection of Impressionist masterpieces in the world.

They later posed for a picture with the Eiffel Tower in the background before travelling to the Stade de France to watch Wales play France in a Six Nations rugby match, which the home side won.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph