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France

‘Eagles of Death Metal’ members barred from Bataclan reopening concert

media Rock star Sting performs at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on Saturday one year after the deadly attacks in the French capital. Universal Music France/REUTERS

Members of Eagles of Death Metal, the band which was playing when jihadists attacked Paris’ Bataclan concert hall last year, were turned away from the venue’s reopening show on Saturday over controversial remarks by their lead singer.

“They came, I threw them out – there are things you can't forgive,” Bataclan co-director Jules Frutos told news agency AFP, as Sting was wrapping up an emotional reopening show to mark a year since 90 people were massacred there during a gig by the Californian band.

Eagles frontman Jesse Hughes – one of the two band members denied entry to the Sting concert – caused dismay in France earlier this year by suggesting Muslim staff at the Bataclan were involved in the gun and suicide bomb attack there on November 13, 2015.

Before the concert Frutos said that he was sick of listening to Hughes' conspiracy theories.

“He makes these incredibly false declarations every two months. It is madness, accusing our security of being complicit with the terrorists... Enough. Zero. This has to stop,” he added.

Hughes, a rare right-wing rocker and supporter of US president-elect Donald Trump, has also said without evidence that Muslims were celebrating outside during the venue during the siege.

The claims tarnished the band's image and enraged the Bataclan's managers, who strongly rejected the charges.

Invitations for EODM to play a number of French summer music festivals were also swiftly withdrawn.

Before he made the claims, Hughes told AFP that he wanted to be the first to play the Bataclan.

Hughes and his band have returned to Paris twice since the attack, to share the stage with U2 in December and to play the Olympia concert hall in February in front of many of the survivors.

The singer will be present outside the concert hall on Sunday for the unveiling of a plaque to the victims of the attack by French President Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

- with AFP

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