Minute’s silence for victims of Manchester

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A minute’s silence has been held at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland following last night’s terror attack at the Manchester Arena which has claimed at least 22 lives.

Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland offered his condolences following last night’s explosion.

At least 59 concert goers have also been injured at the blast - which took place in the venue’s foyer following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande.

He said: “When the news of this appalling and brutal act in Manchester came to us, most of us will have been stunned.

“That young people and children, with others, could be the subject of what Police are now treating as a premeditated act of violence is beyond comprehension. There is no cause, political or religious, that justifies actions of senseless brutality, anywhere or at any time.

“Today the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland offers its prayer and deepest concern to all who have been caught up in this action.

“The young people and their families and friends, the emergency and security services, and the people of that great city of Manchester.

“We pray for them and send our sincerest wishes of peace to come in this heart-rending situation.”

Meanwhile, North Lanarkshire Council’s new provost, Kilsyth’s Jean Jones has written to her Labour colleague Andy Burnham who is now Mayor of Manchester, to convey her support for everyone affected.

Provost Jones confirmed: “I have been expressing my condolences on behalf of the people of North Lanarkshire for the attack on the great city he represents.

“All of us will be horrified by the senseless violence which targeted innocent young people enjoying a concert in Manchester. But I believe the reaction of the people of Manchester, from first responders to ordinary people who opened up their homes to strangers, signifies hope in the face of the most terrible circumstances.

“I have instructed that the flag outside the Civic Centre be flown at half-mast as a mark of respect.

“I have also assured Mayor Burnham that the people of North Lanarkshire stand in solidarity with the citizens of Manchester and with the friends and relatives of those killed and injured. I will lead a minute’s silence in advance of the Tour Series cycling event taking place in Motherwell this evening.

“It is essential that we do not allow the actions of one mindless individual to divide our communities and that we maintain respect for each other.

“Finally, I would ask that anyone travelling to Manchester ensure they follow police and official travel advice. Manchester Airport remains open but there is significant disruption to trains and many roads in the city centre are closed. Greater Manchester Police are asking members of the public to avoid the city centre as their investigation continues.

“Our colleagues in Police Scotland advise that they continue to review all safety and security plans and people will see armed police on patrol at transport hubs and crowded places. There is no intelligence to suggest there is any threat to Scotland but the chief constable is asking people to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to police.”