Bono took cover during Bastille Day attack

LONDON • U2 frontman Bono hid in a restaurant blocks away from the Bastille Day attack last Thursday until he was led to safety by police, according to media accounts citing a French report.

He and celebrity chef Alain Ducasse were among those dining on the terrace of the La Petite Maison restaurant near the seafront in Nice, France, when Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel struck, killing 84 people and injuring hundreds.

Restaurant owner Anne-Laure Rubi told La Parisienne magazine that she saw people running in silent panic past the restaurant.

She told her employees to close the shutters and everyone in the restaurant to hide. They were all escorted out about half an hour later to a nearby square after police checked the restaurant.

They left with their hands on their heads, a customer told the magazine, as the police thought that terrorists might still be at large and everybody was under suspicion. Bono, 56, reportedly owns a home in the nearby town of Eze.

It was the second time he closely escaped a terror attack in France. He was rehearsing for a performance at AccorHotels Arena in Paris minutes before a gunman opened fire at nearby concert hall Bataclan last November.

Meanwhile, a French film distributor has asked cinemas to pull the thriller Bastille Day, about a planned attack on the eve of France's national holiday, after last week's massacre. The film's plot became even more chilling after Bouhlel smashed a truck into a crowd enjoying Bastille Day fireworks.

The thriller, which opened last Wednesday, is about a young French woman who is preparing the attack and a CIA agent played by Idris Elba who is sent to Paris to stop her, reported Agence France-Presse.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2016, with the headline 'Bono took cover during Bastille Day attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe