Paris terror: Former UCT student recalls horror as police search for alleged mastermind
A former University of Cape Town student’s post about Friday night’s terror attacks in Paris, has gone viral with over 740 000 likes and two-million shares on Facebook.
Twenty two year old Isobel Bowdery had been attending the concert of American rock band, Eagles of Death Metal, when three armed men burst through the doors and started shooting inside the packed Bataclan Theatre. A reported 82 people were confirmed dead with the attackers committing suicide by activating explosive laden suicide belts as police started arriving.
In the post dated November 14th, Bowdery stated the atmosphere rapidly changed as people started realising the shots had nothing to do with the concert.
“It wasn't just a terrorist attack, it was a massacre. Dozens of people were shot right in front of me. Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girlfriends dead bodies pierced the small music venue,” Bowdery said, adding she pretended to be dead for over an hour as the shots continued.
“Acts like there are supposed to highlight the depravity of humans and the images of those men circling us like vultures will haunt me for the rest of my life. The way they meticulously aimed and shot people around the area I was standing without any consideration for human life. It didn't feel real”.
Bowdery added she attributed her life to a man who covered her head as the shooting escalated, as well as a couple who continued filling her with hope before succumbing to their injuries.
“As I lay down in the blood of strangers and waiting for my bullet to end my mere 22 years, I envisioned every face that I have ever loved and whispered, I love you over and over again,” she said.
“Last night, the lives of many were forever changed and it is up to us to be better people. To live lives that the innocent victims of this tragedy dreamt about but sadly will now never be able to fulfil”.
French police have meanwhile launched a manhunt for Belgian national, Salah Abdeslam, who is alleged to have played a key part in the attacks that left 129 people dead and 352 injured.
According to reports, Abdeslam was claimed to have rented a black Belgian-registered Volkswagen Polo found outside the Bataclan, before fleeing as the attacks took place. Police then stopped a Volkswagen Golf he was travelling in with three other men early on Saturday morning at the Belgian border, but allowed him to continue as no suspect names had yet been released.
Abdeslam’s brother, Brahim, was said to have blown himself up outside a bar on the Boulevard Voltaire near the Bataclan, while a third brother, Mohammed, was arrested in the Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek after returning from Paris.
Yesterday, police seized an undisclosed number of Kalashnikov rifles found inside a Belgian-registered Seat Leon, which had been parked in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil.
Authorities have also identified Belgian national Bilal Hadfi as one of the three attackers who blew himself up outside the State de France where France was playing against Germany on Friday, and Frenchman Omar Mostefai who was one of the gunmen inside the Bataclan.
Also on Sunday, French fighter planes dropped an estimated 20 bombs on the Syrian town of Raqqa, an alleged stronghold of the Islamic State (Isis), after the group took responsibility for the attack.
French Prime Minister Manuel Villas has stated the country should prepare for further attacks in the coming days.
CAPTION: Isobel Bowdery posted this image of her bloodied shirt on Facebook after Friday's attack on the Bataclan Theatre in Paris. IMAGE sourced from Isobel Bowdery on Facebook
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