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William and Kate meet survivors of Paris 2015 attacks

TOPSHOT – Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and his wife Britain’s Kate, Duchess of Cambridge (R) meet with people near the Eiffel Tower in Paris on March 18, 2017.
Britain’s Prince William pledged on the eve that his country will retain close links with France despite Brexit, as he and his wife Kate began a two-day visit to Paris. MICHEL EULER/AFP/Getty Images

PARIS — Prince William and his wife Kate met Saturday with survivors of the 2015 extremist attacks at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris and other city sites on the second day of their visit to the French capital.

During a visit to the Invalides monument, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge praised the courage of two victims who described the circumstances of their wounds and the effects on their lives.

One victim, identified only by her first name, Jessica, was wounded by seven bullets in one of the attacks, on a bar. She told the British royals that she wants to show the attackers that “they cannot win.”

“I am ambitious. I am still ambitious. I need to live and to work,” she said.

“You’re very brave,” Kate said.

The couple also played a bit of rugby with children and met pupils from the British School of Paris. William rebuffed a pupil’s question about what he thought of Britain’s Brexit vote to leave the 28-nation European Union, saying he could not answer. British royals are not supposed to engage in politics.

The trip is William’s first official visit to Paris since his mother died here in a 1997 car crash. The visit doesn’t include any official memorial events for Diana.

The visit comes on the heels of an attack at France’s second largest airport in which a suspected Islamic extremist attacked a French soldier Saturday morning and wrested away her assault rifle, a French prosecutor said. Two colleagues on her patrol shot and killed the man before he could fire the military-grade weapon in the busy airport terminal.

The attack forced the airport’s terminals to shut down and evacuate, sent passengers and workers fleeing in panic and trapped hundreds of others aboard flights that had just landed. It was the violent climax of what authorities described as a 90-minute spree of destructive criminality across the French capital by the suspect, identified as Ziyed Ben Belgacem.

The attack further rattled France, which remains under a state of emergency after attacks over the past two years that have killed 235 people.