Tuesday, February 27

Paris attacks: Belt of explosives found in litter in town south of capital



A device resembling an explosive belt has been found in the town of Montrouge south of Paris and is currently being analysed by police.

The item was found in a pile of litter on a residential street near students’ accommodation on Monday afternoon, and police experts are working to establish its composition and whether it is made up of explosives.

A source close to the investigation told Reuters: “It looks like a belt of explosives.”

The immediate area where the belt was found was closed off while police checked the material and established what it was. There was no police confirmation yet as to whether it was an explosives belt.

Security services in France and Belgium are trying to hunt down suspects and potential accomplices following a series of coordinated terrorist attacks on Paris on 13 November that killed 130 people in three hours.

During those attacks, different groups of suicide bombers and gunmen targeted the Stade de France stadium, north of Paris, and bars and restaurants in the capital, in addition to a bloody gun attack and hostage situation at the Bataclan concert hall that killed 89 people.

Over the last two decades, multiple terror attacks across the world have resulted in human tragedies of unprecedented scale. However, the indomitable human spirit has emerged triumphant from the crisis and returned to normal life time and again. Here is a look at some images of human response, both tragic and inspiring, found in the aftermath of terrorist violence.

Paris, France

A newly married couple pose for pictures at Place de la Concorde on Nov. 22, 2015, a week after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that left 129 people dead and hundreds more injured.

Paris, France

German pianist Davide Martello, also known as Klavierkunst, rides on a bike with his portable piano near the Bataclan theater on Boulevard Voltaire on Nov. 15, 2015. Martello cycled 400 miles (643 kilometers) from Germany to pay tribute to the Nov. 13 Paris attack victims by playing John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

Paris, France

A soldier stands guard in front of a school on Nov. 22, 2015, following the Nov. 13 attacks on a theater, restaurants, and a stadium.

Brussels, Belgium

A street cafe sits empty on Nov. 21, 2015, after the city was locked down based on an imminent terror threat in the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.

Toulouse, France

Hundreds of people participate in a silent rally in support of freedom and peace, and against barbarism and misconceptions, on Nov. 21, 2015, following the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks.

Paris, France

Tributes in the form of wall graffiti is seen on Nov. 21, 2015, following the Nov. 13 attacks.

New York City, USA

Members of the Muslim-American community are joined by other community people during a demonstration at the Times Square on Nov. 21, 2015, to express grief and solidarity with the victims of the Nov. 13 attacks.

Montpellier, France

A child sits on his father’s shoulders while on their way to a peace march on Nov. 22, 2015, to pay tribute to the victims of the Paris terror attacks.

Brussels, Belgium

Tourists pose in front of an armored vehicle on Nov. 22, 2015, during the second day of a city lockdown following an imminent terror threat in the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.

Bangkok, Thailand

A traditional dancer makes an offering during a blessing ceremony at the restoration of the Erawan Shrine on Sept. 4, 2015. A bomb went off inside the shrine on Aug. 17, killing 20 people.

Yola, Nigeria

A girl rescued from Boko Haram in Sambisa forest by Nigerian security personnel arrives at the internally displaced people’s camp on May 2, 2015.

Berlin, Germany

A woman has her mouth taped displaying the word “Freedom” on Jan. 11, 2015, as she gathers with thousands of others in front of the French embassy in solidarity with victims of the Jan. 7 Paris terror attacks. Gunmen killed 17 people in five shooting incidents across Paris, including the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Paris, France

A hand clutching pencils is photographed during an anti-terrorism rally on Jan. 11, 2015, in the wake of the Jan. 7 Paris attacks.

Berlin, Germany

A woman holds up a sign reading “Coexist” in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Jan. 13, 2015, prior to a vigil organized by Muslim groups for the victims of the Jan. 7 Charlie Hebdo attacks.

New York City, USA

Mourners hold banners depicting victims’ eyes during a rally to protest against the Charlie Hebdo office attack on Jan. 7, 2015.

Sydney, Australia

A girl plays on her phone as people pray during a rally to protest against negative coverage of Islam and Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of Prophet Mohammed on Jan. 23, 2015.

Paris, France

People carry a giant cardboard pencil while taking part in a solidarity march on Jan. 11, 2015, attended by leaders and members of various communities, in the wake of the Jan. 7 Paris terror attacks.

Malaga, Spain

Members of the Nigerian Women Association demonstrate on May 31, 2014, to demand for the release of over 200 school girls abducted by Boko Haram in the remote Nigerian village of Chibok on April 15.

Washington, D.C., USA

Nigerian teenager Deborah Peters, the sole survivor of a Boko Haram attack on her family in 2011, speaks to reporters in Capitol Hill on May 21, 2014, while attending a hearing by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on “Boko Haram: The Growing Threat to Schoolgirls, Nigeria, and Beyond.”

Kabul, Afghanistan

People enjoy a performance during a ‘Peace Concert’ on Oct. 20, 2013. The Taliban, who ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, had banned all kind of arts as sinful under Sharia law.

Baghdad, Iraq

A boy sits in front of the site where two car bombs exploded killing at least 136 people on Oct. 25, 2009.

Madrid, Spain

Over two million people gather on March 12, 2004, to express solidarity with the victims of the March 11 train bombings, which killed 198 persons and injured over 1,400 others.

Sydney, Australia

A portrait of Christine Belmalik lies on her bed with her teddy bear in her Croydon Park home. She is believed to be one of the victims of the Oct. 15, 2002, Bali bombings that killed over 200 people.

Bali, Indonesia

Children pay candlelight tribute to victims of the 2002 Bali bombings at a makeshift memorial outside the Australian consulate on Oct. 17, 2002.

Sydney, Australia

A plaque with the names and photographs of victims of the 2002 Bali bombings is unveiled at a memorial service to mark the third anniversary of the attacks on Oct. 12 2005.

Santa Barbara,California, USA

A young woman views an exhibit of fliers of missing people from the 9/11 World Trade Center attack at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum on Jan. 3, 2002.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

A boy leans on the stone next to the name of his cousin, who was killed in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, at the Garden of Remembrance 9/11 Memorial on Sept. 11, 2014.

Mumbai, India

Passengers look on as a double-decker bus passes by the crater left by one of the series of bomb explosions that rocked the port city on March 12, 1993. The coordinated blasts killed 257 people.

California, USA

A man dressed in U.S. Army fatigues and a truck driver embrace as they are overcome with emotion, after the former handed him a U.S. flag as a mark of solidarity, following the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center in New York City that killed over 2,700 people.

Salah Abdeslam, 26, a key suspect in the Paris attacks, is still at large after calling two friends from Belgium to come and pick him up in Paris hours after the attacks.

He is believed to have played a possible role in the series of restaurant shootings on 13 November, and his older brother, Brahim, blew himself up in one attack on a restaurant. Several Belgian police raids have failed to locate Abdeslam, who remains at large.

His phone is was reportedly detected later on November 13 by a mobile phone mast in Chatillon in the south of Paris, not far from Montrouge.

Police checks on the suspected explosive belt are ongoing.