As the world continues to reel from Friday night’s brutal assault on Paris, it seems Parisians are slowly starting to pick up the pieces. But for many, there remains a sense of heightened fear and anxiety with the French capital now on high alert. The bloodbath on Friday evening dominated social media, TV screens, radio stations and newspapers around the globe as images and reports of dead bodies and turmoil left many shocked.
Capetonian Luq’maan Salasa, a resident in Paris for 18 months, recalls on the night of the attacks he had been at work talking to a colleague when suddenly his colleague’s phone rang with devastating news of a shooting at the Bataclan concert venue.
“My colleague’s wife called him with the news. We checked on the internet immediately and there was very little news available. I got in a cab and listened in shock at the news reports on the radio. When the cab driver pulled up at my home he said to go inside and lock the doors. He said that he didn’t feel safe and would be heading straight home as well,” Salasa explained.
Salasa told VOC News that normalcy has returned to the rest of Paris following the attacks.
“While people still remain on high alert and constantly check news headlines for updates on the situation, everything has gone back to normal. Schools are open, the subways are full and people have returned to work,” Salasa added.
“However, people aren’t seen roaming around outside much and they still lock themselves in their homes. This was such a shock…nothing like this happened in the history of France before,” Salasa continued.
Authorities are now searching for two men they believe were responsible for planning and launching the terrorist attacks in Paris that left at least 129 people dead. Media reports state that Salim Benghalem, a French national who joined ISIS several years ago, directed Abdelhamid Abaaoud, an ISIS deputy and a Belgian national, to orchestrate Friday’s rampage. The two men are believed to be in Syria.
French President, Francois Hollande has since said that; “Isil strike will bring return of walls and barbed wire to Europe unless we gain control of borders”.
While the world pledges support for Paris during this time, some social media users have taken to blaming Islam for the attack. When asked about his safety as a foreigner and a Muslim, Salasa said that the city of Paris is multi-cultural and he has never felt singled out due to his religious beliefs. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)