Paris, Nov 14 | France paid tribute to the victims of the November 2015 Paris attacks, as officials reiterated that risks of terrorist acts remained high in the country.
Accompanied by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Prime Minister Jean Castex began the ceremony of commemoration on Friday in front of Stade de France where suicide bombs struck during an international football match on the same day five years ago, reports Xinhua news agency.
The officials then went to the cafes, restaurants and Bataclan performance hall to honour the victims killed in the explosions, mass-shootings and hostage-taking that followed that day.
In the attacks, at least 137 people were killed, including the seven perpetrators, and 416 others injured.
Five years after the deadliest assaults that France has experienced since the Second World War, “the terrorist risk is very high”, said Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.
“We face a double-edged threat: from outside — people sent from abroad, and a grave internal threat — people who are amongst us, our enemies within. Those threats are increasing,” Darmanin told France info radio early on Friday.
In recent weeks, France saw several attacks linked to terror motive.
On September 25, a man armed with a knife wounded two people near the former office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for reprinting cartoons mocking Prophet Muhammad.
A history teacher was beheaded outside a middle school in Paris suburbs on October 16.
A sword-wielding man killed three people at a church in central Nice on October 29.
In the last five years, 20 attacks have been carried out on French soil, 19 plots failed and 61 were thwarted, according to Nicolas Lerner, Director General of Internal Security (DGSI).
“The risk of an attack like that of November 13 (2015) has decreased, but it has not disappeared, as remains the risk of acts committed by isolated individuals who entered the national territory illegally,” Lerner told Le Figaro newspaper.
“To face this threat, cooperation between internal and external services and with our foreign partners is vital,” he added.