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The Latest: Floating lanterns mark Paris attack anniversary

Associated Press Associated Press 13/11/2016

PARIS — The Latest on the anniversary commemorations of the Paris attacks on Nov. 13, 2015 (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

Hundreds of paper lanterns are floating down Paris' Canal Saint-Martin as crowds look on in silence to mark one year since deadly Islamic State attacks rocked the city.

The lanterns are lit with red, white and blue lights representing the French flag.

Hundreds of people — many families with children — are watching in silence beside the canal and on bridges spanning it.

A special Mass is being held in Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral to mark the anniversary of the Nov. 13, 2015 attacks, which killed 130.

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5:20 p.m.

The lead singer of Eagles of Death Metal is denying that he was refused entry to the Paris club where the band was playing when it was stormed by suicide bombers a year ago.

Jesse Hughes, speaking in Paris on Sunday, said he is here to pay tribute to the Nov. 13, 2015 attack victims, and called this city "a shining example of really the best possible way to react to something that's awful and evil."

Hughes has criticized the Bataclan concert hall over the past year, notably questioning its security measures. A report by news agency AFP cited Bataclan co-director Jules Frutos as saying that he denied entry to Eagles band members at its reopening concert Saturday night.

Hughes told reporters Sunday that he went to the Bataclan because "I just wanted to see the place open. But I never actually tried to go into the show. ... I don't know what he's talking about. It's going to be a little bit harder to get rid of me than that, you know what I mean? I love this place."

Bataclan management would not comment on the report.

The Nov. 13, 2015 attacks killed 130 people at cafes, the national stadium and the Bataclan, where 90 died.

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3:10 p.m.

Some people cried, others simply lit candles or laid flowers at the Paris sites where Islamist extremists struck a year ago, killing 130, in coordinated attacks.

After a solemn and somber anniversary ceremony led by President Francois Hollande, people have paid respects to the dead at the Bataclan concert hall where 90 were killed, and restaurants and bars dotting a lively neighborhood.

Hannah Schumann, a nurse, says that "everybody is emotional. I'm crying."

In a sign of hope, several hundred balloons have been released from the nearby town hall in the presence of Hollande, and lanterns are to be floated along the Canal Saint-Martin as dusk nears.

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11:25 a.m.

French President Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo have unveiled two plaques at the Bataclan concert hall, the final stop in a somber anniversary commemoration of the 130 victims of the attacks.

The 90 names of those killed at the Bataclan were read out before a minute of silence was observed. It came after the dead and injured were honored at the six other sites attacked by Islamist extremists.

The Bataclan attack was the bloodiest and the longest, beginning at 9:40 p.m. and ending at 12:23 a.m. after a group of concertgoers taken hostage were freed. The youngest and oldest victims of the Paris attacks were a 17-year-old and a 68-year-old, both killed at the Bataclan.

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10:30 a.m.

French President Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo are visiting each site struck by Islamist extremists in the capital on the night of Nov. 13, 2015 to commemorate the anniversary of the attacks that killed 130 people.

In silence, Hollande is pulling French flags from plaques commemorating the victims at five bars and restaurants, the Bataclan concert hall and the national stadium, where the first attack occurred as the president watched a France-Germany soccer match. The names of the victims were being read out at each site.

There were no deaths at the Comptoir Voltaire brasserie except for suicide bomber Brahim Abdeslam, a 31-year-old Frenchman. He was the older brother of Salah Abdeslam, the only survivor among the three attack teams and who is now jailed in France.

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This item has been corrected to show that France was playing Germany, not Sweden at the Stade de France.

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9:35 a.m.

French President Francois Hollande has opened a national day of commemoration in France, one year after the Paris attacks that killed 130.

Hollande unveiled a plaque covered by a small French flag at the national stadium in memory of the single person killed there, Manuel Dias, and the numerous wounded.

Hollande remained silent at the ceremony outside the Stade de France and he wasn't expected to speak as he unveils plaques at the seven sites hit by Islamic extremists.

Instead, the victim's son Michael spoke, saying his Portuguese-born father was "proof that integration is possible, necessary" to fight the stigmatization that leads some youth into violence.

It was a reference to the attackers who were European citizens of foreign descent. He said: "Long live tolerance, long live intelligence, long live France."

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