Charlie Hebdo terror attack survivor says ‘being shot saved my life’
One of the survivors of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper terror attack said being shot in the neck saved his life.
Victim Simon Fieschi thinks being hit by two bullets and passing out meant he survived.
He was giving evidence in the trial of 14 people accused of helping two terrorists storm the offices in Paris on January 7, 2015.
Brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi forced their way into the HQ of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people and injuring 11 others.
The brothers themselves were shot dead by security forces after a manhunt.
Mr Fieschi said: "When the jihadists came in and fired, I lost consciousness, which probably saved my life."
The Charlie Hebdo webmaster was reportedly the first person targeted by the terrorists.
Mr Fieschi told the French court: "Two bullets were fired at me, one hit me in the beck and in it's path also hit my spine and compressed my spinal cord.
"A door opened suddenly. Gunshots and my vision slipped away. It all happened very quickly.
"I had no idea what was going on at the time."
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Mr Fieschi says he only remembers hearing the phrases "Allahu Akbar" and "we don't kill women" as he saw the two hooded men.
He spent several weeks in intensive care after the attack along with many months in hospital before undergoing an ongoing rehabilitation programme.
The gunmen identified themselves as members of terror group al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula, who took responsibility for the attack.
Said and Cherif Kouachi died after they took hostages at a company in Dammartin-en-Goele, around 18 miles northeast of Pairs, two days after the Charlie Hebdo attack.
They emerged from the building firing weapons.
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Describing his injury problems he has suffered since the attack, Mr Fieschi said: "They are all physical, and I have sensory issues with the chronic pain that never goes away.
"As well as the psychological consequences which appeared after I had stabilised.
“I sometimes hear us called ‘survivors’. It’s a word that always makes me feel strange as it implies we escaped what happened. I don't think any of us escaped what happened.
“I have a duty to testify about what weapons of war do to people, what the bullets did to me."
Among those charged with helping the Kouachi brothers is Ali Riza Polat, seen by prosecutors as a key player because they claim he helped the attackers obtain the weapons.
He denies the charges, including the most serious – complicity in a terrorist act – which carries a potential life sentence.
The case continues and is expected to last until November.
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