Paris attack suspects go on trial

The trial of 20 men suspected of involvement in the November 2015 Islamist militant attacks in Paris -- the deadliest attack to hit France in peacetime -- began on Wednesday, amid high security.

Some 130 people were killed and hundreds wounded when gunmen with suicide vests targeted six bars and restaurants, the Bataclan concert hall and a sports stadium in Paris in the incident.

Asked during the trial what his profession was, the main suspect of the rampage described himself as "an Islamic State soldier."

31-year-old Salah Abdeslam is believed to be the only surviving member of the group that carried out the attacks.

Eleven of the defendants are in prison pending trial, and six will be tried in absentia - most of them are believed to be dead. The remaining suspects are accused of helping provide guns and cars or playing a role in organizing the attacks.

Victor Edou is a lawyer for eight Bataclan survivors.

"And so hearing today that there is still an Islamic State fighter a few metres from them, of course, it reactivates this psychological process that is very difficult to manage."

Other victims remained defiant. Thierry Mallet survived the attack on the Bataclan concert hall.

"I have to admit that I was surprised to see his face, it changed a bit, he has a beard, but well, I'm going to face him, I'll look at him, I'm not afraid."

The trial is set to last nine months in what has been described as an unprecedented judicial marathon.

Most of the accused, including Abdeslam, face life imprisonment if convicted.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting