Europe

Paris attacks: Cafe Bonne Biere becomes first target to reopen

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Media captionAudrey Bily, manager of A la Bonne Biere, paid tribute to the emergency services

A Paris cafe where five people were killed during the terror attacks last month reopened its doors on Friday - the first of the targets to do so.

Three weeks on from the violence, the bullet holes that pockmarked the windows of La Bonne Biere are gone and Parisians have returned to its terrace.

"It is time for us to gather together again, united, and to go forward in order not to forget," the owners said.

The attacks on 13 November left 130 people dead and more than 350 wounded.

Close-circuit cameras at La Bonne Biere recorded the moment two gunmen approached the cafe and opened fire at those sitting on the terrace.

Piles of flowers and candles still line the pavement where the victims died, but for the first time in three weeks on Friday a handful of customers returned to the tables and chairs for their morning coffee.

A banner above the entrance reads "Je suis en terrasse" - I am on the terrace - a message of defiance popular among Parisians in the wake of the attacks.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Customers mingled with members of the media as the cafe reopened on Friday morning

Manager Audrey Bily thanked supporters and said the cafe would "bounce back".

"I would like to thank everyone who has supported us for your poems, your messages and posts that have so helped us," she said.

"We are going to start again, to bounce back. We have carried out some work and repainted the walls to wipe away the signs of this nightmare.

"The Bonne Biere cafe was a place where people meet and exchanged and shared. That is what we want it to be again today."

A handwritten message on a blackboard outside the cafe offered condolences to the victims' families and thanked the emergency services at the scene that night.

Image copyright Twitter

Paule Zlotnik, a neighboring shopkeeper, praised the cafe's decision to reopen. "It's time they open and that we continue life as it was before," he said.

The Casa Nostra restaurant opposite the cafe, which was also hit, remains closed. The four other cafes and restaurants targeted in the attacks as well as the nearby Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people died, are also still closed.

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