Leeds student’s shock at Paris terror attacks

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A Leeds student has spoke of the shock rippling through the streets of Paris after the attacks in the French capital killed at least 127 people.

Caroline Grandjean, 23, who lives in Burley Park, said the French capital is in a state of “shock” as people try to comprehend the scale of the atrocity.


The Leeds Trinity University student, who was visiting her family and friends, was enjoying a night out in the city when she overheard a table next to her talking about a “war in Paris”.

They were told to stay inside by the waiters at the cafe in the Boulevard Saint Germain.

She then walked to a bar in Saint Michel where she took cover in a cellar.

She said: “It was very frightening and it was really scary. It just felt so unreal.

“At first I didn’t want to go outside the cafe.

“The city was so empty which is very unusual for that time of the evening because it is normally very lively on a Friday night.

“My plan was to just go home and book a taxi but it was a struggle as everyone else had the same idea.”

A state of emergency has been declared in France after the country’s worst night of violence since the Second World War.

Around 1,500 extra troops have been deployed across the country, police leave has been cancelled and border controls have been imposed.

Schools and other public facilities are closed, and all public demonstrations in the Paris region have been banned until Thursday.

The broadcast journalist said the city is in a state of mourning today.

“It is very. very sad. The weather is grey and you can feel the shock,” she said.

“Word just cannot describe what has happened.

“We are in mourning.

“All of the authorities are calling for a one minute silence.

“This is just the most shocking event I have ever seen in my life.”

The attacks come almost a year after the Charlie Hebdo atrocity, which took place in January and saw 12 people killed after gunmen stormed the offices of the satirical magazine.

Caroline, who was in Paris at the time of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, added: “It was shocking. Charlie Hebdo was such a tragedy.

“We thought it would never happen again but now it has happened again.”

But she added: “Paris has to stay strong and remember that we have just got to carry on.”