Local couple land in Paris ‘war zone’

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A Lurgan couple had just landed in Paris as the horrendous terrorist attacks unfolded there on Friday night.

Jonathan Duggan and his wife Sinead had landed at Charles de Gaulle airport into what they described as a ‘war zone’

Jonathan told the ‘MAIL’: “We had already prearranged a private taxi transfer to pick us up, whilst in the car we witnessed numerous police cars and motorbikes zooming past us, my wife and I knew at this time something was going on.

“We got into our hotel at around nine-ish, and turned on our television just to see had something occurred and, of course, the BBC news had breaking news, we were advised by our hotel to remain indoors as a state of emergency had been declared within Paris.

“We didn’t know what we had let ourselves in for, what was supposed to be a nice weekend away turned out that we had entered a war zone.

“Lucky enough we were a safe distance away, however, we were a mere 10 minute walk away.

“Moods were tense in the hotel and quiet,”

The couple are due to return home on Sunday evening, their romantic break overshadowed by the unfolding tragedy.

Jonathan said: “We took a walk around the city today (Saturday), the mood was tense and quiet, almost eerie in nature, most shops and restaurants were closed, leaving us at a loss of what to do.

“We had booked to have dinner in the Eiffel Tower tonight, however, we have had to remain local to the hotel as the Eiffel Tower has been closed and is currently being patrolled by military personnel, we also had to give the Museums a miss.”

The attacks caused ‘panic’ on the streets of the French capital, according to an Armagh academic visiting the city.

The University of Ulster’s Prof Paddy Gray said the city had been left in a ‘crazy situation’ by the attacks.

He told the BBC he was “nervous and apprehensive” as the situation developed.

At least 128 people have died after the shootings and bombings on Friday night.

The attacks were claimed by Islamic State militants.