• On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, "20 Minutes" shares with you the most striking memories of its journalists.

  • Today, back to the terrible evening of the attacks in Saint-Denis and Paris on November 13, 2015.

2015. On November 13 at 9:45 p.m., my phone rang.

My sister's first name appears on the screen, her voice betrays anguish: “We have just seen armed men enter the Bataclan, shooting.

Do you know what's going on?

The building in which she lives is adjacent to the concert hall, at the corner of Passage Amelot in the 11th arrondissement.

When I left the editorial office, 45 minutes earlier, everything was calm, however.

The only notable news: the France-Germany match which took place at the Stade de France, followed live by my colleagues from the sports department.

I check the AFP thread on my phone, my emails and I launch Twitter: nothing.

I immediately call the newspaper.

Julien is on duty, I inform him of what my sister has just seen: “On the Bataclan, I have no information.

But obviously, there would be shootings in the 10th.

Come back to the editorial office, we are going to need people”.

I call my sister back, try to reassure her and rush to the first metro station.

In the street, the first sirens sound.

An endless night begins.

"It's a horror"

Antoine, head of the sports department and on duty that evening, reminds the entire editorial staff.

I arrive first and I get the controllers of the live launched a few minutes earlier by Julien.

The task is complicated.

Very quickly, the terrorist track is essential and the information flows on all the channels.

The “urgent” AFP dispatches are linked and on Twitter, the testimonies and reactions are multiplying.

The editorial director sets the rules: nothing should be published without being verified by us or sourced by AFP.

The police-justice service and all the journalists of

20Minutes

are trying to cross-check the first elements collected from their sources and those collected by our colleagues deployed at the scene of the attacks.

11:36 p.m., the first report falls: 40 dead according to the Interior.

11:54 p.m., the face of François Hollande appears on the televisions on in the newsroom: "It's a horror", launches the President in a martial speech.

In the open space – crowded now – the silence is total.

At regular intervals, I call back my sister who has taken refuge in a room with her children and her spouse.

It is 12:28 a.m. when the assault is launched on the Bataclan.

I'm online with her, but we're not talking.

We can't, the sound of the explosions makes our words inaudible.

Paris, Paris

The provisional toll falls at 2 a.m.: 120 dead.

This is the last information I post on the live.

"Go home, tomorrow we'll have more work to do," the editor advises me.

In the taxi that takes me home, the radio broadcasts “Paris” by Marc Lavoine and Souad Massi.

Behind the car windows, the road is empty, the curtains of the bars and restaurants drawn and the duo sings: “I let your Seine flow, under your bridges, your tune, always after the pain.

I cry in your cabs when you shine in the rain.

How beautiful you are in the middle of the night”.

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  • Attacks of November 13

  • Terrorist attacks in Paris

  • Bataclan

  • Daesh

  • Terrorism

  • Jihadism

  • Society

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