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Bataclan owners reject Eagles Of Death Metal singer's claims about venue security

Jesse Hughes had made suggestions about perceived lapses in security during Paris terror attacks

Dan Dennison/NME
Photo: Dan Dennison/NME

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The owners of Paris' Bataclan venue have responded to Eagles Of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes' recent comments that questioned the degree of security during the night that 89 people were killed while his band were playing live.

Hughes, who previously claimed that greater access to firearms for the public may have prevented the attack, said in interview that a number of security guards who were due to work on the night of the attack did not turn up for work, saying that "it seems like they had a reason not to show up".

A spokesperson for the venue has now issued a public statement (as reported by Variety) rejecting Hughes' suggestions.

"Jesse Hughes spread some very grave and defamatory accusations against the Bataclan teams," the statement reads.

It continues: "A judicial investigation is undergoing. We wish to let justice proceed serenely. All the testimonies gathered to this day demonstrate the professionalism and courage of the security agents who were on the ground on November 13. Hundreds of people were saved thanks to (these agents') intervention".

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Hughes had originally told Fox: "When I first got to the venue and walked in, I walked past the dude who was supposed to be the security guard for the backstage. He didn’t even look at me. I immediately went to the promoter and said, 'Who’s that guy? I want to put another dude on.' He said, 'Well, some of the other guards aren’t here yet.' And eventually, I found out that six or so wouldn’t show up at all… Out of respect for the police still investigating, I won’t make a definite statement, but I’ll say that it seems like they had a reason not to show up."

Eagles of Death Metal recently pulled a series of gigs after Hughes sustained an injury to his finger. The band made their live return on February 18, exactly three months after terrorists targeted their show at the Le Bataclan theatre in Paris. 89 people were killed in one of a series of attacks on the French capital.

The band are due to play Reading and Leeds festivals later in the summer, with these appearances not expected to be affected by Hughes' injury.

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