Thursday 23 March 2017

Paris terror attacks: Suicide bomber had ticket for France-Germany game but was stopped by security - report

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

At least one of the terrorists who targeted the Stade de France during the friendly between Germany and France had a ticket for the game and tried to gain access to the stands, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The paper quote a stadium security guard who asked to be indentified only by his first name Zouheir, who claims that one of the bombers tried to enter the venue but was stopped after his explosive vest was discovered as the terrorist was frisked.

The report claims that the attacker detonated his vest as he backed away from security.

The Wall Street Journal wrote: "While attempting to back away from security, Zouheir said, the attacker detonated the vest. Zouheir, who was stationed by the players’ tunnel, said he was briefed on the sequence by the security frisking team at the gate.

"A police officer confirmed the sequence, adding that police suspect the attacker aimed to detonate his vest inside the stadium in order to provoke a deadly stampede.

"Around three minutes later, a second person also blew himself up outside the stadium. A third suicide attacker detonated explosives at a nearby McDonald’s, police said. One civilian died in the attacks, police said."

The chilling report outlines how the incident at the French national stadium could have been a lot worse.

The explosion could be heard inside the stadium during the game.

A report in the New York Times claims that Germany coach Joachim Low and France boss Didier Deschamps were informed of what was happening in Paris at half-time in the game but decided against informing their players.

The national teams of France and Germany both spent Friday night inside the Stade de France following the attacks on the French capital.

Germany were taken to the airport on Saturday morning to return home rather than returning to their hotel, which had been subject to a bomb threat earlier on Friday.

France's players refused to return to their homes as a show of solidarity with their opponents.

"The French said that they were staying as long as Germany had to stay," said the German Football Association's caretaker president Reinhard Rauball.

"That was an outstanding gesture of camaraderie."

The two teams learned of the attacks once the final whistle had been blown in a 2-0 win for the hosts.

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