South African tells of sombre and mournful Paris

2015-11-14 22:08


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Durban - A South African journalist living in Paris has told of a sombre and subdued capital following the bloody massacre that claimed the lives of more than 120 people.

Marcelle Balt had been at home on the same street as a restaurant that was attacked, aware that her fellow Parisians had been gunned down within walking distance of her apartment.

"I was lucky in that when the attack happened I was safe at home. I had actually turned my phone off and turned in early for the night so everything happened unbeknownst to me - I woke up to all the chaos.

"I woke to people frantically trying to get hold of me to find out if I was safe. The shock and realisation of what had happened hit me all in one go this morning,” Balt added.

"It was such a shock and the first thing that sprang to mind was trying to find out if everyone that I know is OK. And then also let my family and my friends know that I am safe.

"When I looked at the map of where all the attacks were I realised that they had struck at the heart of the Parisian people. All the places that were hit are places that people go out to just to have a good time.”

 "A bit later in the day I met up with some of my friends and I think that is the overwhelming sentiment of people here, they just want to spend the time with people that they love.

"I had taken the Metro from where I live into town and it was running and open but there was a sense that people were subdued,” she said. 

Read more on:    france  |  paris under attack

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