World

Manchester shows defiance and strength at town hall vigil

MANCHESTER: Chants of "Manchester! Manchester!" rang out on Tuesday as thousands gathered for a multi-faith vigil in the city centre to remember the victims of the deadly suicide attack claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group.

Striking a note of defiance, people massed outside the city's Victorian town hall to pray for those killed and injured in the bombing.

The vigil was attended by Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh leaders and drew on the strength of a city that is synonymous with the Industrial Revolution, music and football.

Senior figures filled the stage at Albert Square.

Among them was Mr John Bercow, the speaker of parliament's lower House of Commons, interior minister Amber Rudd and opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The crowd listened silently to the speeches, though there were huge cheers when the speakers praised the emergency services and urged people to defy terrorism by standing together.

"Today is a day we all hoped and prayed we would not ever see," Manchester police chief Ian Hopkins told the crowd.

"I cannot begin to imagine how anyone could carry out such an unthinkable act.

"We must all stand together and not let the terrorists defeat us. We must all live in harmony with each other as we stand together to defeat terrorism."

Meanwhile, an "I love Manchester" sign, written as "I (heart) MCR", has mushroomed across the city, even replacing estate agency windows. - AFP

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