Wales

Paris attacks: Wales joins minute's silence for victims

Tricolor, Union Jack, Welsh flag

A minute's silence in honour of victims of the Paris attacks has been marked around Wales.

Politicians in the Senedd have been among those taking part in a Europe-wide one-minute silence, held in the UK at 11:00 GMT on Monday.

Vigils have been held, and public buildings around Wales continue to be lit up in the colours of the tricolour.

Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones said people must be vigilant, but to continue with normal life.

Outside the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, Jan and Chris Watkins, both 71, from Cardiff, turned out to show their support on behalf of their French daughter-in-law, Karine Langlois, who lives in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan.

Mrs Watkins said: "We have come down as a sign of solidarity for the French, to stand shoulder to shoulder with them."

Image caption Jan Watkins carried a sign, which read 'we express our compassion for France'

Granville Harris, 67, and his wife Linda, 66, visited Cardiff from their home in Leeds.

Mrs Harris said: "It's very important to show solidarity, particularly after Remembrance Sunday. It's even more poignant to think of world peace."

Mr Harris added: "I think if there's one good thing to come out of this it's all the other nations coming together."

First Minister Carwyn Jones said people should remain "vigilant".

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Media captionCarwyn Jones spoke after a minute's silence was held to mark the Paris attacks

"But of course it's also important we carry on with our lives. One of the things terrorists would like to do is disrupt a normal life in the countries of Europe we must not allow that to happen."

In a letter of condolence to the French ambassador, he said the people of Wales stood "shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of France during this difficult period".

"Terrorism can afflict any of our countries and it is vital that we all stand together in solidarity to defend the freedom which is the most valued characteristic of open and democratic societies," Mr Jones said in his letter.

David Melding, deputy presiding officer, said: "We do need continent-wide solutions to these problems... but what we can do in Cardiff in front of the Senedd here on the steps is show we're not intimidated by appalling acts of violence and terrorism."

Other services have been held in Caernarfon in Gwynedd, Friars Walk in Newport, Ysgol Penweddig in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, and Glyndwr University in Wrexham.

Cases were also paused at Cardiff Crown Court, with people gathering in the lobby to observe the silence.

Since Friday night, public buildings have been illuminated to show solidarity with the French, including Caernarfon Castle, the Senedd, the Wales Millennium Centre and Caerphilly Castle.

Vigils organised by members of the public were also held outside Cardiff Castle and the Senedd.

Marie Brousseau-Navarro, Wales' honorary French consul said she had been overwhelmed by the Welsh support.

Image caption Silence was also marked in Caernarfon, Gwynedd

France is marking three days of national mourning for the 129 people who were killed in attacks on restaurants, a concert hall and a sports stadium on Friday.

Hundreds of others were injured, many critically.

Islamic State (IS) militants have claimed responsibility for the shootings and suicide bombings.

Image caption A shopper in Newport pauses to mark the silence
Image caption Ysgol Penweddig, Aberystwyth, observing the minute silence
Image copyright Aimee Caines
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Media captionMarie Brousseau-Navarro says she has received hundreds of messages of support

Ms Brousseau-Navarro said within hours of the attacks she had received hundreds of messages of support from members of the public and politicians in Wales.

She said: "It's really important because the whole country is in mourning. We are in three official days of mourning and it's really important for the people of France that they feel the solidarity from us - the French abroad.

"We are in our hearts over there and we all have families and friends in Paris."

Presiding Officer Dame Rosemary Butler said: "The horrific events in Paris last week have shocked the world. But the response from citizens who are determined not to let evil forces splinter our society has been inspirational.

"We will remember those who have died, and also show our belief in an open and inclusive world is undiminished."

Image caption Caernarfon Castle lit up with French tricolour
Image copyright Aimee Caines
Image caption The Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay

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