Two individuals of Portuguese heritage were confirmed dead, victims of Friday terror attacks in Paris. According to Portuguese authorities, a third Portuguese victim is also feared dead.
The first identified victim was Manuel Colaço Dias, 63, a native of Mértola, mainland Portugal, who emigrated to France 45 years ago. Dias lived in Paris with his wife and two children. None of his immediate family was currently in France, since they were in Portugal gathering documents for the wedding of one of their sons.
Today, Portuguese Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, wrote a letter to the family, expressing “deep sorrow and dismay” for the tragedy which “will never be forgotten.”
The second confirmed victim is a 35 years old French born woman, of Portuguese descendant, with dual nationality. Her name was not released. A third not confirmed victim of Portuguese heritage is a female feared dead Saturday.
In Lisbon, on Saturday, Portuguese and French government representatives mourned the dead by lighting the Belem Tower in the colors of the French flag in a gesture of solidarity uniting Lisbon and Paris. In Porto city, the facade of the Rivoli Theater was also lighted in the colors of the French flag on Saturday to honor the victims of the terror attacks.
On Friday, the President of Portugal, Cavaco Silva, sent a message to the French President, François Hollande, expressing his “dismay” over what he described as “heinous terrorist attacks.”
“It was with great dismay that I learned of the heinous terrorist attacks today in Paris, and the tragic loss of a large number of lives,” the Portuguese president said.
Portuguese police have boosted security at the French, British, American and German embassies in Lisbon in the wake of Friday attacks in Paris. Authorities have also taken additional security measures at the Lisbon, Faro and Porto airports.
The extremist terrorist Islamic State has claimed the Friday attacks in Paris, which caused at least 129 dead and 352 wounded, 99 in serious condition.
The Portuguese community in France is the most numerous of the Portuguese communities in Europe. Currently an estimated 580,240 Portuguese people are living in France.