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Vigil for victims of terror

HUNDREDS of people paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks in London with a candlelit vigil staged outside the British Embassy, Manama, last night.

The joint vigil was organised by Al Wefaq National Islamic Society and the National Democratic Action Society and involved the Islamic Action Society, Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and the Bahrain Society for Freedom and Support of Democracy.

Alongside the event was a separate vigil, staged by the Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society (BHRWS).

British Ambassador Robin Lamb said in a statement that he was grateful for all the expressions of sympathy and condolence the embassy had received in response to the bombings in London, on Thursday.

"The ambassador and his staff at the British Embassy greatly appreciate the friendship and support of the Bahraini people at this difficult time," said the statement.

National Democratic Action Society chairman Ebrahim Al Sayed said that he decided to organise the vigil after the idea was put forward to him by a member of the public.

"It shows that ordinary people in Bahrain care and respond," he said.

"But we have to express our view. In Bahrain there is a great body of people who believe and are correct, that it is not enough to deal with terrorism just from a security angle.

"Terrorism has a root in injustice and this breeds intolerance. We must work against terrorism and injustice."

He said that if the attack was a reaction against the Iraq war, then the terrorists should remember that the British people came out in their millions to protest in the streets against the war.

"This is no way to thank their anti-war campaign," he added.

"The message we want to send to the British is that you are great people and keep up the great work in supporting other nationalities."

Al Wefaq president Shaikh Ali Salman condemned the terrorist attacks and expressed his support to the British public.

"We are against an attack on London or any terrorist attacks," he said.

"We support the British people and hope that they return to their normal lives soon. We also support the British people living in Bahrain."

Shaikh Ali said that the societies had sent a letter to the British Embassy and the British government condemning the attacks and supporting the victims.

"We are gathering to say we are saddened about what happened and that we support these people," he said.

"I lived in London for six years and I love this city. It's a very bad thing to have happened and no religion supports this kind of thing to happen to ordinary people.

"The civil society must be safe from the battles of the military and terrorists.

"What happened in London is outside of morals."

BHRWS members met with Mr Lamb yesterday afternoon.

During the visit they presented children's paintings depicting what terrorism does to the world.

The paintings were created by children from the society's art section.

The members also planted a tree in the embassy grounds, to convey a message of peace.

"One painting shows a mother and father and their children sitting at a table and then the next day it shows one chair empty and this show what terrorism does," said BHRWS member Ahdeya Ahmed Noor.

"We, as Bahrainis are moved by anything that harms anyone. Many of us travel to London and we could have been there. "You shouldn't see people losing their lives over beliefs, it's against humanity."



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