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Steve Parsons/PA Wire
World News

Christian man metres from Paris attacks recalls horror on the streets

by Antony Bushfield

Human rights activist Jimmy Spencer Junior says he passed by the scene of the attacks just minutes before gunmen opened fire.

He was having dinner at a restaurant near to the Bataclan theatre and Cambodian cafe where 129 people were killed.

"It did cause me to stop and think, live today because there's no promise tomorrow," he said.

He added: "You usually don't see that presented to you right in front of your face."

Mr Spencer described the mayhem that ensued as gunmen shot people and blew themselves up: "We heard people coming out into the street and it sounded very strange.

"Then we saw that there were explosions at the stadium and that came on the TV so at that point the restaurant pretty much cleared and everyone went out into the street and there was all sorts of craziness going on down the street."

He said there was confusion about what was happening but added that the closer you got to the scene of the incident "the people looked terrified".

"The strength and the incredible calm that the French exhibited was really impressive," he added.

Meanwhile, French police are currently engaging in a gun-battle with Abdelhamid Abaaoud - the suspected mastermind of Friday night's massacres - in the Parisian suburb of Saint Denis.

Several other heavily armed suspects from the attacks are believed to be hiding out with him in a flat there.


Since the pre-dawn raid began, at least seven explosions have been reported, with local residents saying they heard kalashnikov fire and grenades detonating.

A number of police officers have been injured.

It's believed a police sniper has already killed one target.


Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speaking to Jimmy Spencer Junior:

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