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Paris Theater Hostage Vows To Value His Life After Attacks

Sebastien was held at the Bataclan for two and a half hours.
Flowers rest near Bataclan in Paris.
Flowers rest near Bataclan in Paris.

A man held hostage in the Bataclan theater during the Paris terror attacks recounted his horrifying ordeal to French radio station RTL on Tuesday, and expressed optimism for the future.

Sebastien, who didn't provide his last name, was attending the Eagles of Death Metal concert on Friday when gunmen took over the venue and held him and others hostage for two and a half hours, he said in the radio interview.

"I served as an intermediary. We were human shields," he told RTL in French. "They asked us to wait by the window and tell police that if they didn't retreat, the assailants would activate their belt of explosives. I had a Kalashnikov [rifle] pointed at me. I was at their mercy."

In his interview, Sebastien also shared some details about his exchange with the assailants.

"They told us this was only the beginning of the war, that they were there in the name of Islam," Sebastien said. "They asked us if we agreed with them. Then they asked us if we had a lighter to burn bundles of money."

Police ultimately stormed the Bataclan and engaged in a firefight with the attackers, who then detonated the suicide vests they were wearing. At least 89 people were killed in the attack at the venue.  

Despite the horror, Sebastien told RTL that the overall experience only made him stronger. 

"Life is hung by a thread," he said. "I was born again and I am going to enjoy my new life."

Sebastien also told the radio station that he saved a pregnant woman, but did not discuss further details.

Candles are placed outside the Bataclan theater in memory of the victims of Friday's attacks.
Candles are placed outside the Bataclan theater in memory of the victims of Friday's attacks.

The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the terror attacks, announcing in a statement it would continue its terror campaign as long as France and its allies continued to target the organization.

Since the attacks, France has intensified airstrikes on Islamic State targets, including the group's stronghold in Raqqa, Syria. Authorities also are continuing to search for two more possible assailants in France and Belgium.

 

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