Manchester attack: Muslim community holds 'peace walk'

Peace walk
Image caption The peace walk set off from Grosvenor Square on Sunday

Hundreds of people joined a peace walk in Manchester to pay their respects to those killed or injured in Monday's arena attack.

The organiser, Manchester businessman Sajjad Haider, said nearly 200 marchers turned out to "show solidarity with the families of those who died".

While organised by the city's Islamic community, people of all faiths and none were warmly welcomed, he said.

The march from Grosvenor Square set off at 17:30 BST on Sunday.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Thousands of people have left flowers, balloons and tributes to the victims of Monday's attack

Mr Haider said: "The community have strong feelings about this and wanted a sharing of love with the victims.

"We feel the same upset and anger."

One woman who attended the walk, which ended in St Peter's Square, said: "We need to be more open in regards to condemning it."

A man said he joined to walk to "show we're suffering as well as everybody else in Manchester and throughout the world".

Image copyright Sajjad Haider
Image caption Sajjad Haider organised the Manchester Peace Walk

Mr Haider said people held red roses as a symbol of peace and banners with different messages on them along the walk.

"We are pleased with how it went."

Mr Haider, an estate agent and prominent member of Manchester's Shia community, added: "The main thing is to show solidarity with the families of those who died and to give a strong message against terrorism, and a clear message that [the people who committed this act] are evil animals."

Image caption A gathering took place in St Ann's Square before the peace walk

A gathering of imams took place at 15:00 in St Ann's Square, where thousands have gathered over the last few days to leave flowers, balloons and other messages of support for the victims and their families.

Hundreds of people turned out for a vigil at Heaton Moor Park on Sunday evening for Martyn Hett, one of 22 killed in Monday's attack.

Balloons were released in the square on Saturday by the family of Georgina Callander.

Hundreds of Muslim children and their families marched from the Cheetham Hill area of the city to Manchester Arena on Friday.

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