Scotland politics

Paris attacks: Scotland joins Europe-wide minute's silence

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Media captionFirst Minister Nicola Sturgeon observed the silence alongside members of the Central Mosque in Glasgow

Scotland has joined the rest of Europe by taking part in a one-minute silence at 11:00 for the dead and injured in the Paris attacks.

A total of 129 people were killed when gunmen targeted bars and restaurants, a concert hall and the Stade de France.

It is understood Friday's attacks were committed by Islamist militants.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon observed the minute silence at the Central Mosque in Glasgow where she had had a scheduled meeting.

On Sunday, prayers were said at church services in Scotland and a book of condolence was opened at the French Consulate in Edinburgh.

The attacks will be remembered at other events this week, including;

  • special assemblies are taking place at Aberdeen's French school which teaches primary and secondary age pupils
  • staff of French energy company Total observed the planned silence at its Aberdeen headquarters where flags are flying at half-mast
  • Marischal College, the headquarters of Aberdeen City Council, was lit up in the colours of the French tricolore flag on Monday evening
  • in Dundee, the minute's silence was observed in the City Square and a book of condolence has been opened at the City Chambers
  • Highland Council was making preparations to illuminate landmarks in Inverness in red, white and blue, including the castle, the cathedral and the Ness Bridge
  • the people of Renfrewshire were invited to a service that took place at 19:00 at Paisley Abbey
  • and on Wednesday at 17:15, the Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia will lead a special Mass St Andrew's Catholic Cathedral in Glasgow.

'Remain alert and vigilant'

There have been more than 150 raids on militant targets in different areas of France as part of wide-scale manhunt for surviving members and accomplices of the Islamist group that carried out the attack.

Police had named Brussels-born Salah Abdeslam, 26, as a key suspect. He was reportedly stopped by officers in the wake of the attacks - but then let go.

Following the attacks, the UK government has announced plans for 1,900 extra security and intelligence staff, and more money to assess and improve security at overseas airports.

Image caption People observed the minute's silence at Edinburgh Waverley station
Image caption Inverness Castle was among a number of Scottish landmarks lit up in the colours of the French tricolore flag

In new guidance issued by Police Scotland, the public here have been urged to remain alert and vigilant and to report any suspicious activity.

The threat level for the UK remains at "severe" with an attack highly likely, but police said there was "no specific threat to Scotland".

Police Scotland said it had "exercised plans to respond to multi-seated firearms attacks" and may increase its presence in some areas.

However, it urged people not to "become fearful or withdraw from the streets " and go to concerts, sports event, shops and restaurants as normal.

'No way out'

In a statement, Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone also revealed that his officers had dealt with a number of crimes motivated by religious hatred in the wake of the Paris attacks.

He said they have been both online and in public and that "arrests had been made."

He added: "Police Scotland will not tolerate any form of Hate Crime and I urge everyone across the country to continue working together to ensure that no one feels threatened or marginalised."

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Media captionMariesha Payne was inside the Bataclan: "We ran to the back of the cellar and crammed ourselves in the smallest space"

Two women from Scotland who got caught up in the shootings at the Bataclan Concert Hall have spoken about their escape.

Christine Tudhope and Mariesha Payne said they hid in a cellar for three hours.

Ms Payne, who is from Perth, said: "A second round went off, most people ducked, but I just said run, just get out of here.

"In the confusion if we had gone left we would have instantly been out on to the street and probably the first people out of the building, but just confused we ran right and ended up being in a room that we couldn't get out of.

"There were no exits but we found a door to the cellar, which we just ran into but then realised we were trapped and there was no way out of there."

The women later found that if they had escaped into the street they could have put themselves back into danger because the gunmen were firing at people from the concert hall windows.

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