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Two minutes of silence held across Europe for London bomb victims - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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LONDON (AP)- People across Europe paused for two minutes of silence Thursday to honor the victims of last week”s London terror attacks.

As Big Ben chimed at noon (1100 GMT), tourists and Londoners alike stopped on the sidewalks outside the Houses of Parliament and bowed their heads.

Outside King”s Cross station, a focus for the city”s grief in the week following the bombings that killed at least 52 people, trucks, cars and mounted police officers paused on busy Euston Road to join the tribute.

The manager of the Underground station at King”s Cross spoke briefly to the crowd. &#34In silence, let us remember those who lost their lives at King”s Cross a week ago and all those who died in the attacks in our city that day,&#34 said Ken Leach.

In Leeds, believed to be the home of at least two of the bombers, young Muslims wearing prayer caps, priests in cassocks, and teenagers gathered for the moment of silence before speeches by a local imam, a minister and community leaders.

&#34We condemn these terrorists and what they have done. We refuse to call them Muslims. They are not,&#34 said Munir Shah, the imam of the Stratford Street mosque.

The ceremony took place outside a youth center where one of the suspects was a counselor for disabled youth.

At Buckingham Palace in London, Queen Elizabeth II emerged just before noon and stood silently in the main gateway to the palace.

As bells tolled in the distance, thousands of shoppers stood in silence on Oxford Street, London”s main shopping street, and buses and taxis came to a halt.

Prime Minister Tony Blair observed the silence in the garden of his Downing Street residence.

All landings and take offs were suspended for five minutes at London”s Heathrow airport, Europe”s busiest, so as not to disturb the silence.

In Madrid, which was hit by al-Qaeda-linked terror bombings that killed 191 people last year, Mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardon and other officials observed the silence in a plaza outside town hall. Dozens of workers and pedestrians stopped to join in.

In Paris, where Bastille Day celebrations were under way, sirens wailed across the city and French President Jacques Chirac and visiting Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula de Silva stood at attention outside the Elysee Palace.

Hundreds of European Union officials gathered in the sunlight outside EU headquarters in Brussels, where the row of blue-and-gold EU flags flew at half-staff.

In Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country that hopes to start EU membership talks in October, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and two other ministers stood in silence for two minutes, interrupting a meeting at the Ankara chamber of commerce. A moment of silence was also held outside the Foreign Ministry.

In Berlin, subway trains, trams and buses stopped for two minutes. People waiting for trains at the Friedrichstrasse subway station fell silent and the boards showing train departures declared that &#34we remember the victims of the terrorist attacks in London.&#34

In Stockholm, Sweden”s Prime Minister Goran Persson joined other senior politicians for a brief ceremony at the government headquarters.

&#34We have gathered here today to express our solidarity, our sympathy with the victims and their families and show our support for the open society,&#34 Persson said. The ceremony ended with two minutes of silence.

In Goteborg, Sweden”s second-biggest city people gathered in a big shopping mall to remember the victims. The Swedish Exchange observed two minutes of silence.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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