Flags fly at half mast for terror victims

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At Comhairle nan Eilean Siar offices in Stornoway this afternoon the Comhairle flag and the Scottish Saltire are flying at half-mast as a mark of respect for all those who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena attack.

Twenty-two people lost their lives in the attack and the number of those injured has now risen to 119.

The atrocity has stunned the country with the General Election campaigning suspended until further notice.

Today the General Assembly opened with prayers and silence for the victims.

Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: “When the news of this appalling and brutal act in Manchester came to us, most of us will have been stunned.

“That young people and children, with others, could be the subject of a premeditated act of violence is beyond comprehension. There is no cause, political or religious, that justifies actions of senseless brutality, anywhere or at any time.

“The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland offers its prayer and deepest concern to all who have been caught up in this action. The young people and their families and friends, the emergency and security services, and the people of that great city of Manchester.

“We pray for them and send our sincerest wishes of peace to come in this heart-rending situation.”

Here in the Western Isles people have also been offering their sympathies and support, particularly to the families of the two young girls from Barra, Laura MacIntyre and Eilidh MacLeod, who have been missing since the incident.