In front of the Bataclan concert hall
In front of the Bataclan concert hall

PARIS — Ten months after the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan concert hall, it is now possible to virtually "conquer" the tragic music landmark thanks to the latest distasteful twist to the augmented-reality mobile game Pokémon Go, which sends players to find and catch more than 100 species of little monsters in the real world.

It may be a machine-driven coincidence, but one that does not rest well in France, victim of three major terrorist attacks in the past 20 months, reports Le Figaro.

Niantic, developer of the gaming sensation co-owned by Nintendo, bases its locations on geo satellite data. Still, it can know in advance which "arenas" have been selected, and developers could have excluded Bataclan out of respect to the victims, Le Figaro reports.

It is not the first time that Pokémon Go has sparked controversy. In July, officials at the Auschwitz memorial denounced Nintendo for allowing its game to turn the former Nazi death camp in Poland into a "Pokéstop." One Pokémon Go player also found a Koffing (a poison gas type Pokémon) in the Holocaust Museum in Washington.

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At the Holocaust Museum in Washington — Photo: Alliance

Renovation has begun at the Bataclan, which has become a place of pilgrimage for those looking to pay their respects to the victims of the ISIS attacks in November. The concert hall is set to reopen with a performance by British singer Pete Doherty later this year.

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Geopolitics

Taliban And Iran: The Impossible Alliance May Already Be Crumbling

After the Sunni fundamentalist Taliban rulers retook control of Afghanistan, there were initial, friendly signals exchanged with Iran's Shia regime. But a recent border skirmish recalls tensions from the 1990s, when Iran massed troops on the Afghan frontier.

Taliban troops during a military operation in Kandahar

The clashes reported this week from the border between Iran and Afghanistan were perhaps inevitable.

There are so far scant details on what triggered the flare up on Wednesday between Iranian border forces and Taliban fighters, near the district of Hirmand in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province. Still, footage posted on social media indicated the exchange of fire was fairly intense, with troops on both sides using both light and heavy weaponry.

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