French journalists posted a photo purporting to show a shield used Friday night by a member of the anti-terrorism police to defend himself during the Islamic State group's assault on Paris’ Bataclan concert hall where Islamic State gunmen killed 89 people.
In the photo, which also circulated widely in the British media, the BRI (France's elite anti-terrorism police unit) shield is riddled with bullet holes, reflecting just how terrifying in must have been at the concert stormed by the Islamist terrorists.
TheBlaze is unable to independently authenticate the photo.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Telegraph reported new details on the assault on the concert hall, where the terrorists apparently threatened to behead hostages.
According to the report citing French media, the first policeman arrived on the scene at 10 p.m., 20 minutes after the terrorists stormed the hall:
He immediately came face to face with an attacker, fired at him and then the man’s suicide vest went off, police and legal sources told French media. It is not clear whether his bullets set off the bomb or if the attacker detonated it himself.
At around 10.15pm a heavily armed Swat team arrived and entered the building. The attackers had by then retreated to an upper floor. The police evacuated all the people they found and then, in two columns, went up the stairs to the right and the left of the auditorium. As they progressed terrified people emerged from cupboards and other hiding places where they had taken cover.
Police then positioned themselves across from the door to a room where they believed the terrorists were located.
From the other side of the door, police heard a hostage conveying the captors’ message that “if we opened the door, they will blow everything up,” a policeman identified only as Jean told France’s TF1 television.
The assailants gave the police a cellphone number, which was used in five phone calls over 50 minutes; however, police quickly concluded the militants had no interest in negotiating.
“They didn’t want to free the hostages. … They said get out, or we will shoot and we will decapitate the hostages,” Jean said.
At 20 minutes past midnight — more than two hours after the terrorists arrived — police got the order to begin the final assault, which ended the ordeal. The Telegraph reported:
The police burst open the door and, protected by a heavy metal shield, being advancing down the corridor that was revealed to be full of about 20 hostages. The attackers opened fire immediately but the police unit kept advancing, with officers rushing screaming hostages out as they went forward.
When finally they were face to face with the attackers, the police threw a stun grenade as they blasted their guns at the Islamists. One attacker went down, and then the other detonated his suicide vest, blowing both their bodies to pieces. The assault had lasted three minutes.
TF1 reported that one officer was shot and wounded but that none of the hostages being held in that part of the theater was hurt during the shootout.