‘We will rebuild Notre-Dame together’, says France’s Macron

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The soaring spire collapsed in flames, and a church spokesman says the entire wooden interior of the 12th century landmark is burning and likely to be destroyed. (AFP)
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Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. (AFP)
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Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. (AFP)
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Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. (AFP)
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Flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris. (AFP)
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A fire broke out at Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris. (Social media)
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Smoke could be seen billowing out from the top of the medieval cathedral. (Social media)
Updated 16 April 2019
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‘We will rebuild Notre-Dame together’, says France’s Macron

  • City Hall spokesman said on Twitter the area was being cleared
  • Paris fire brigade say fire is "potentially linked" to the renovation work

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild Notre-Dame cathedral on Monday after a blaze devastated large parts of the gothic gem on Monday.

Smoke could be seen billowing out from the top of the medieval cathedral, as flames lept out besides its two bell towers, witnesses said, while black smoke was seen shooting from the base of the spire, which is undergoing renovation.

"Notre-Dame is our history, our literature, part of our psyche, the place of all our great events, our epidemics, our wars, our liberations, the epicentre of our lives," Macron told reporters in front of the still burning Paris landmark.

French President Emmanuel Macron postponed a televised speech to the nation because of the blaze.
"Notre-Dame is burning, and I know the sadness, and this tremor felt by so many fellow French people. But tonight, I'd like to speak of hope too," he said, announcing the launch of an fundraising campaign.
"Let's be proud, because we built this cathedral more than 800 years ago, we've built it and, throughout the centuries, let it grow and improved it. So I solemnly say tonight: we will rebuild it together," he added. 

French firefighters managed to bring the blaze under control in the early hours of Tuesday.

Fire spread rapidly through a major portion of the magnificent Gothic cathedral at the heart of Paris. The Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, said the fire service was currently "trying to control the flames."

The soaring spire collapsed in flames, and a church spokesman says the entire wooden interior of the 12th century landmark is burning and likely to be destroyed.

The massive fire engulfed the roof of the cathedral in the heart of the French capital as Parisians watched in horror.

Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media: "Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame."

The cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions.

Paris is disfigured. The city will never be like it was before," said Philippe, a communications worker in his mid-30s, who had biked over after being alerted of the fire by a friend.

"It's a tragedy," he added. "If you pray, now is the time to pray."

Police were attempting to clear pedestrians away from the two islands in the river Seine, including the Ile de la Cite which houses the soaring Gothic church, one of Europe's best known landmarks.

A major operation was under way, the Parisian fire department added, while a city hall spokesman said on Twitter that the area was being cleared. Police said investigations into the cause of the fire had been opened and was still ongoing, and that no deaths or injuries had been reported.

Flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris. (AFP)

French media quoted the Paris fire brigade saying the fire is "potentially linked" to the renovation work.

Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. (AFP)

US President Donald Trump called the blaze "horrible" and suggested the deployment of flying water tankers.

"So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!" he tweeted.


Woman shot dead in N.Ireland in ‘terrorist incident’

Updated 34 min 13 sec ago
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Woman shot dead in N.Ireland in ‘terrorist incident’

  • A car-bombing and the hijacking of two vans in Londonderry earlier this year were blamed on a dissident paramilitary group
  • A 1998 peace deal largely brought an end to three decades of bloodshed in Northern Ireland between republican and unionist paramilitaries

LONDON: A woman has been shot dead during riots in the city of Londonderry in Northern Ireland and the killing is being treated as a terrorist incident, police said Friday.
Images posted on social media showed a car and van ablaze and hooded individuals throwing petrol bombs and fireworks at police vehicles.
It was not immediately clear who the woman was or who shot her.
“Sadly I can confirm that following shots being fired tonight in Creggan, a 29-year-old woman has been killed,” Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said in a statement on Twitter.
“We are treating this as a terrorist incident and we have launched a murder enquiry.”
The violence came in the run-up to the Easter weekend, when Republicans opposed to British presence in Northern Ireland mark the anniversary of a 1916 uprising against British rule.
A car-bombing and the hijacking of two vans in Londonderry (also known as Derry) earlier this year were blamed on a dissident paramilitary group.
Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Union Party, which is in favor of Britain’s presence in Northern Ireland, described the death as “heartbreaking news.”
“A senseless act. A family has been torn apart. Those who brought guns onto our streets in the 70s, 80s & 90s were wrong. It is equally wrong in 2019. No one wants to go back,” she wrote on Twitter.
A 1998 peace deal largely brought an end to three decades of sectarian bloodshed in Northern Ireland between republican and unionist paramilitaries, as well as British armed forces, in a period known as “the Troubles.”
Some 3,500 people were killed in the conflict — many at the hands of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
Police have blamed a group called the New IRA for the flare-up in violence in recent months.
Some have expressed fears that recent attacks could be a sign that paramilitaries are seeking to exploit the current political turbulence over Northern Ireland and its border with the Republic of Ireland caused by Brexit.
Michelle O’Neill, the deputy leader of Irish republican party Sinn Fein, condemned those responsible for the killing.
“My heart goes out to the family of the young woman shot dead by so-called dissidents,” she wrote on Twitter.
“This was an attack on the community, an attack on the peace process and an attack on the Good Friday Agreement,” she added, while calling for calm.
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