First, there's this one from the Guardian, from "Jean", one of France's "elite anti-terrorist police":
"They came out like zombies. They were in a terrible state and could hardly walk," Jean told French television. "When we went in, it was really dark. There were dozens of bodies lying on top of each other on the ground, the dead, the injured, the survivors who were pretending to be dead." Jean is a veteran of the assault on the Hyper Cacher Jewish supermarket in January, linked to the Charlie Hebdo attacks, in which Amedy Coulibaly killed four hostages before he was shot dead.Now read this report from the Telegraph:
In the Bataclan, where hostages were also taken, the police moved swiftly, clearing the ground floor, helping survivors to safety, before reaching the upper floor. Behind one last door, the remaining bombers, Omar Ismail Mostefai and Samy Amimour, were holed up with 20 hostages, one of whom had been ordered to speak for the terrorists.
"He shouted out that the terrorists were there and that if we opened the door they would blow everything up," said Jean. One hostage, Sebastien, who had pulled a pregnant woman hanging from a window sill to safety, gave an insight into the conversations initiated by the two terrorists.
"They asked us if we agreed with them," he said. "I'll let you imagine the lingering silence of that moment. The most timid nodded their heads and the most daring said 'Yes'. They asked us to serve as lookouts, to yell at the police to stay back and that if not they would blow up their explosive vests."
The terrorists asked Sebastien if he thought money was important and then made him burn a wad of €50 notes.
The attackers then gave police a mobile phone number and at 11.27pm a specialist negotiator, the same man as who had spoken to Coulibaly during the Hyper Cacher siege, called to ask for their demands. "They didn't want to free the hostages. They said get out or we will shoot and we will decapitate the hostages," said Jean. They also said they would throw a body out of a window every five minutes.
Over the next 50 minutes four more calls were exchanged, with it becoming clear negotiations were going nowhere.
The chief of police ordered Jean and his officers to storm the narrow, 30ft corridor where the terrorists and hostages were. Jean described how they burst through the door throwing stun and smoke grenades, then advanced in pairs behind a thick metal shield.
"As soon as the door was open the terrorists opened fire ... the shield alone took about 30 bullets from their Kalashnikovs. The hostages were screaming, throwing themselves on the ground, hugging the walls," said Jean. "Each time a pair of officers got past a hostage, the rest of the team would pull them out of there."
After all the hostages were safely out, officers opened fire with their assault rifles, hitting one man before another detonated his suicide vest, killing all of the attackers.
New details of the Bataclan siege have emerged suggesting the three attackers were intent on escaping with their lives and had taken drugs. Accounts given by elite French officers overturn the assumption that the gunmen were part of a suicide attack.Any questions?
They told L'Obs, the French weekly, that the attackers tried to persuade police to let them leave.
Georges Salinas, deputy chief of the police Research and Intervention Brigade (BRI), said the two jihadist gunmen were still alive when his unit arrived "only had one idea in their heads at that moment, which was to get out of there".
Mr Salinas was among the officers who went into the Bataclan after the attack, which left 89 people dead. One of the three terrorists was already dead, he said, shot by a police officer, while the other two were hiding in a corridor with about 20 hostages.
A BRI negotiator, Pascal, spoke to them five times from 11.27pm to 12.18am.
"They were very worked up, very hyper and confused, as though they were under the influence of drugs," he said.
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