Paris attacks: Norfolk and Suffolk show solidarity and sorrow for people of Paris
- Credit: Steve Adams
From the Fens to the east coast and from North Norfolk to the heart of Suffolk, the message to France is clear: We stand united in showing our solidarity.
As Europe reacts to the Paris attacks, community and church leaders from Norfolk and Suffolk sent warm messages of support to a nation shrouded in grief.
At least 129 people died after seven co-ordinated attacks were made on the French capital on Friday.
The militants who carried out the atrocities, reportedly members of Islamic State, targeted a concert hall, football stadium, restaurants, and bars. French police are continuing their investigations, with a manhunt launched last night for a possible suspect.
Seven of the attackers died during the assaults on Friday, but it is not yet known how many were behind the massacre. The events have prompted a huge outpouring of support for the victims and their families, not least from our own region.
Clive Lewis, the MP for Norwich South, said: 'I think the thoughts and condolences of both Norwich and the world over will be with the people of Paris and France in the coming days and weeks.' Brandon Lewis, the MP for Great Yarmouth, said: 'At a time of tragedy like this all our thoughts turn to those who have lost friends and family.'
French ex-Norwich City footballer Cedric Anselin, who grew up in Paris, said the attacks left him shaken and in tears, while 19-year old Jay Chamberlain, from Horsford, who works near Paris, said 'it was scary' to think he had passed Stade de France just a couple of hours before two suicide bombers attacked the stadium.
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A vigil is planned at the University of East Anglia at 11am today, organised by second-year student Jonathan Hendry – who studies French, and Great Yarmouth Twinning Association will hold a minute's silence at Great Yarmouth Borough Council tomorrow at noon. Some 23 members of the association were in a suburb of Paris on a twinning trip when the attacks occurred.
Dignitaries and church leaders from Norfolk and Suffolk also sent their message of support.
The Rev Sam Abramian, of Union Church, in Hunstanton, said: 'Our hearts and prayers and thoughts go out to everyone who has been affected by the tragedy.'
Anne Thorp, mayor of Swaffham, said: 'On behalf of the people of Swaffham, I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathy to all the families of those who lost their lives and also to the injured.'
Stephen Ardley, mayor of Lowestoft, said: 'I'm sure I speak for everyone in Lowestoft when I say our hearts, thoughts and prayers are all with the people affected and their families.' Nick Daubney, leader of West Norfolk Council, said: 'It's the most appalling situation and my heart goes out to them all.' West Norfolk Mayor Colin Manning added: 'My thoughts are, on behalf of the people of west Norfolk, of absolute disgust and horror that such a thing could happen.'
Hugh Taylor, mayor of Beccles, said: 'We send them our sincere condolences and assurance that we stand shoulder to shoulder with them in the face of terror and senseless loss of life.' Tim Adams, mayor of Cromer, said: 'On behalf of everyone in Cromer, I would wish to extend our condolences to France, our neighbours and friends.
And organisations took to Twitter to show their solidarity with the people of France. Norwich City FC tweeted: 'The thoughts of everybody at Norwich City are with those affected by last night's attacks in Paris.' Norfolk Police tweeted: 'The thoughts of our officers and staff are with those caught up in last night's atrocities. #ViveLaFrance' while Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service tweeted: 'Our thoughts are with everyone affected by last night's events in Paris. #Prayers4Paris'