Monday, July 18, 2016

Bono caught in attack chaos as he dined beside the promenade By Alan O'Keeffe

U2 frontman Bono was caught in the chaos of the Bastille Day massacre in Nice and had to be evacuated from a restaurant on the seafront by French police. The Dubliner (56) was eating near the promenade on the French Riviera when mass killer Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a truck through a crowd gathered to watch fireworks beside the beach, murdering 84 people, including 10 children. Following the attack, Bono and others dining in La Petite Maison were evacuated by police amid the fear and confusion in the area. Speaking to 'La Parisienne', Anne-Laure Rubi, the owner of the upmarket restaurant, said it was just an ordinary Bastille Day with customers sitting and looking at the Promenade des Anglais. Ms Rubi explained: "Suddenly, I see people running, without shouting. It is a silent panic. It was extraordinary." Ms Rubi told 'La Parisienne' that "by reflex" she grabbed the arm of Christian Estrosi, the former Nice mayor, who was sitting close to Bono. "He was on the phone. He didn't want to say much. I think he was just learning about the attack," she said.
Ms Rubi's staff pulled down the shutters, and instructed everybody to hide and remain calm, until the all-clear was given. One customer, who asked not to be named, said: "The situation was very confusing. We did not know what was happening." The customer said they heard rumours that gunmen had got out of a van and were firing at the crowd. "After half-an-hour, the police evacuated us," added the customer. "Everyone came out onto Place Massena, under police protection." Bono and his friends, like other customers, left the restaurant with their hands on their heads. "When we got out, we still believed that there was a hostage, including one at the Meridien hotel, that people were still circulating and that the police were looking for," said the customer. Bono owns a home in the nearby town of Eze, and had been relaxing with friends when the atrocity started at around 10.30pm last Thursday. The Irish Independent

Op-Ed. Nice, France. May their innocent souls rest in peace. We must continue to love and trust in each other and our abilities to fight terrorism. And elect leaders who can get the job done and protect our havens.