Thursday 27 October 2016

Bono caught up in Bastille Day massacre and had to be evacuated from restaurant in Nice

Published 17/07/2016 | 10:24

U2 frontman Bono was caught in the Bastille Day massacre and had to be evacuated from a Nice restaurant by French police.

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The Dubliner (56) was eating next to the seafront in the French city when a deranged murderer Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a truck through a crowd - murdering 84 people including 10 children

Following the attack Bono and others dining in La Petite Maison were left gripped by fear and confusion.

Speaking to La Parisienne Anne-Laure Rubi, the owner of the upmarket restaurant, said it was just an ordinary Bastille Day with customers sitting and looking at the Promenade des Anglais.

Bono was dining with footballer Karim Benzema’s lawyer Eric Dupond-Moretti and the famous French chef Alain Ducasse.

Ms Rubi explained: "Suddenly I see people running, without shouting. It is a silent panic. It was extraordinary.”

Bono has spoken out against Donald Trump
Bono has spoken out against Donald Trump
SADNESS: The scene of Thursday’s attrocity in Nice, now adorned with floral tributes. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Ms Rubi told La Parisienne magazine that 'by reflex' she grabbed the arm of Christian Estrosi, the former Nice Mayor, who was sitting close to Bono.

“What's going on?' she said. 'He was on the phone. He didn't want to say much. I think he was just learning about the attack'.

Ms Rubi's staff pulled down the shutters, and instructed everybody to hide and remain calm, until the all clear was given.

One customer, who asked not to be named, said: “The situation was very confusing. We did not know what was happening. They heard rumors that snipers would be out of a van and they watered the crowd.”

"After half an hour, the police evacuated us,” said the customer. “Everyone came out onto Place Massena, under police protection. "

Bono and his friends, like other customers, left the restaurant with hands on their heads.

La Petite Maison restaurant in Nice
La Petite Maison restaurant in Nice
VIGIL: Women break down in tears reading poignant messages for victims of the Nice massacre. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

"When we go out, we still believe that there is a hostage, including one at the Meridien hotel, that people are still circulating and that the police are looking for,” said the customer.

Bono owns a home in the nearby town of Eze, and had been relaxing with friends when the atrocity started at around 10.30pm last Thursday.

This is not the first time that U2 have found themselves at the centre of a terror plot.

Last November he and his band were rehearsing for a concert in Paris, when Islamic State operatives attacked the nearby Bataclan theatre, killing 89 people.

Rather than leave the French capital, the four U2 members made their way to the Bataclan the next morning, and paid homage to the deceased.

In an eerie coincidence band member Adam Clayton tweeted an image  of a yellow sky on July 14 and wrote: Storm over France , July 14 - Adam

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