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Paris Honours Attack Victims During Somber Anniversary Ceremonies

14/11/2016 6:56 AM AEDT | Updated 14/11/2016 6:59 AM AEDT
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French President Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo unveil a commemorative plaque next to the A La Bonne Biere cafe in Paris.

Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
French President Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo unveil a commemorative plaque next to the A La Bonne Biere cafe in Paris.

Mourners gathered across Paris in the areas hit by last year's horrific terror attacks to commemorate the first anniversary of the tragedy. French officials unveiled new memorial plaques, which display the names of those who killed in each attack, at seven different sites.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and French President Francois Hollande commemorated the new memorials, which can be found across the city as well as in the Saint-Denis suburb. One of the tributes, a plaque that reads "a memorial to the victims wounded and assassinated in the November 13th, 2015 attacks," can be seen near the A La Bonne Biere cafe, where gunmen killed five people.

Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
A commemorative plaque unveiled by Hollande and Hidalgo is seen next to the A La Bonne Biere cafe in Paris.

A similar plaque, unveiled by Hollande and Saint-Denis Mayor Didier Paillard, can be seen outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, where the first of the attacks occurred.

The son of the lone person killed during the stadium bombings gave a speech honoring his father.

"Long live tolerance, long live intelligence, long live France," he said, according to The Associated Press.

Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
A commemorative plaque is seen outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, near Paris.

Victims were also honored with a concert held Saturday night in the Bataclan concert hall, where 90 people were massacred. Sting opened the show and the Eagles of Death Metal, who had been onstage during the attacks, performed as well.

Hollande and Hidalgo introduced a memorial plaque outside the venue on Sunday. Mourners gathered to pay respects, comforting each other and placing flowers around the memorial.

Christophe Petit Tesson/AFP via Getty Images
French Republican Guards stand next to a commemorative plaque reading "In memory of the injured and killed victims of the attacks of November 13, 2015 - to the 90 lives taken" at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.
Benoit Tessier/Reuters
Relatives of the victims gather next to a commemorative plaque in front of the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.

"We need to mark the year anniversary to show that we'll never forget them," one mourner told The Guardian outside of the Le Carillon bar on Rue Alibert. "Life goes on, but our neighborhood will always remember this."

Philippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images
A woman with her child lays candles in tribute to the victims, outside Le Carillon restaurant near Rue Alibert and Rue Bichat in Paris.

Outside the city hall of the 11th arrondissement, Hollande and Hidalgo led mourners in releasing balloons into the air.

Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
French people release balloons during the first anniversary of the Paris terror attacks in front of the city hall of the 11th arrondissement.

France has seen a spate of major terror attacks in the span of a year and a half. Last January, militants in Paris attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices, killing 12, and then stormed a kosher grocery store, killing four. Then came the November attacks. And on Bastille Day this July, France's national holiday, one man drove a truck into a crowd watching fireworks in the southern city of Nice. A few weeks later, two men pledging allegiance to the so-called Islamic State group slit the throat of a priest in Rouen.

Not to mention the handful of thwarted attacks in the last few months. Authorities have arrested several minors since September after discovering their plans to carry out attacks and charged one woman after she failed to carry out an attack near Notre Dame cathedral. It turns out they had all been communicating with a French national named Rachid Kassim, who is based in territory occupied by the Islamic State and instructs people on attack planning via Telegram, a chat app.

This post has been updated with more background on terror attacks in France.

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