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UK: Thousands hold vigil for London terror victims

24th Mar 2017
UK: Thousands hold vigil for London terror victims

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

 

LONDON (AA): Thousands of mourners filled Trafalgar Square on Thursday for a vigil for the victims killed in a terror attack in the British capital the previous day.

MPs and members of the Metropolitan Police were among those who held lit candles in honor of the victims.

Amongst those remembered are PC Keith Palmer, mother Aysha Frade and American tourist Kurt Cochran.

75-year-old man died from his injuries in hospital Thursday night, bringing number of those killed by the terrorist to four.

Of the 29 people taken to hospital, seven are said to be in a critical condition.

“Those evil and twisted individuals who tried to destroy our shared way of life will never succeed and we condemn them,” Mayor Sadiq Khan said in an address to the crowd.

“London is a great city full of amazing people from all backgrounds and when Londoners face adversity we always pull together. We stand up for our values and we show the world we are the greatest city in the world,” he said.

Police on Thursday identified the assailant in the deadly attack as Khalid Masood, 52, who was shot dead by police after stabbing a policeman to death. Masood was born in Kent, southeast England.

In a statement to parliament earlier in the day, Prime Minister Theresa May said Masood was a U.K. national who was known to intelligence services after being previously investigated for links to terrorism.

Masood drove into pedestrians who were on the Westminster Bridge, killing at least two victims and injuring dozens of others, before fatally stabbing Police Constable Keith Palmer, 48.

Some of the other victims were identified as Aysha Frade, a Spanish teacher whose father was a Turkish Cypriot, and Kurt W. Cochran, a U.S. tourist.

“Our response to this attack on our city, this attack on our way of life, this attack on our shared values, shows the world what it means to be a Londoner,” Khan added.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd also addressed the crowd.

Speaking about PC Palmer she said: ‘He was courageous, he was brave, and he was doing his duty.

‘And he was not alone in doing that. I know that all officers of the Met are like that and in my experience, so are all policemen.

‘I want us to say thank you to them all for the great sacrifice and risks they take to keep us safe.’

Twenty-nine people injured in the attack are still being treated at the hospital. Seven are in a critical condition.

Additional reporting by The Muslim News

[Photo: (2nd L-R) Acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Craig Mackey, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan light candles during a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on March 23, 2017 in London. Photographer: Kate Green/AA]

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