Paris attacks: Bataclan police describe 'hellish' siege

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Media captionPolice union spokesman Nicolas Comte describes how officers freed Bataclan hostages

Police who stormed a concert hall during the Paris attacks "really saw hell", a union official has said.

Officers who entered the Bataclan are not allowed to speak on camera about what they saw, but police union spokesman Nicolas Comte has recounted their story to the BBC.

He said: "Inside the Bataclan, there was someone who was talking to the police by phone. He was hiding in a technical area. He told us he could hear more shooting, he could hear they were still executing people."

Mr Comte said specially trained police then began their assault on the building.

Image caption Mr Comte said officers were forced to ignore the pleas for help from the wounded as they sought out the gunmen

"At first they thought they were walking in water, then they realised it was blood," he told the BBC's Damian Grammaticas.

"They had to make their way in the dark, stepping over bodies.

"The wounded lying there saw the police. They were calling out to the officers, moaning, begging them. They tried to catch hold of my colleague as [he] went past but the officers couldn't help them."

Speaking in French, Mr Comte said the police had to "neutralise the terrorists before they could save everyone".

Image copyright AFP
Image caption A shield carried by officers was struck 27 times

He said the attackers fired at the advancing police, and 27 rounds hit a metal shield officers were using to protect themselves.

"There were around 20 hostages between them and the attackers," he said.

"The officers realised they had to finish things quickly. They managed to shoot one and soon, as he saw that, the second one blew himself up."

Officers took in the full horror of the scene after the attackers were dead, Mr Comte said.

"They saw there were tens and tens of bodies lying on top of each other, some with terrible injuries," he said.

"Many of them were very very young. My colleagues told me: 'We really saw hell tonight'."

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