Flags at half-mast across Hampshire and Portsmouth vigil for Brussels dead

A VIGIL was held to pay respects to those who died in the Brussels bomb attacks which left at least 31 people dead and many more injured.

Thursday, 24th March 2016, 6:06 am
A group assembled in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth last night for a vigil in memory of those who died in the terror attacks in Brussels

A small group of people gathered in Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square last night as the big screen beamed the Belgian flag.

The vigil was organised by student Leanne Bisatt, from the University of Portsmouth, who was moved to act following the atrocities at an airport and underground station in Brussels on Tuesday.

Terror group Islamic State (Isil) has claimed responsibilty for the attacks.

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But she said the group was remembering those who have died in terrorist attacks all over the world.

Miss Bisatt said: ‘After Paris we had a big show of support. The community came together and it was a nice way to share a big loss.

‘Brussels is another big loss but we also want to make it really clear we’re not just here for Brussels.

‘There have been so many terrorist attacks –in Istanbul, Jakarta, Mogadishu, Yemen and Iraq.

‘We felt it was important to get the community together after a big event like this.’

Eleven people were killed at Zaventem airport and 20 at Maelbeek metro station.

Flags flew at half-mast in sympathy for those who died following the terror attacks in Belgium.

The Belgian flag and union flag were lowered to half-mast in Winchester outside Hampshire County Council’s headquarters.

Staff and councillors also observed the Europe-wide minute’s silence at 11am yesterday.

Leader Roy Perry, a former MEP, said: ‘During the 10 years I was MEP for Hampshire, I went through Zaventem Airport hundreds of times, and similarly used the Maelbeek Metro Station.

‘It’s just horrible to think of the scores of innocent people, going about their daily business who have now been killed or maimed.

‘My heart goes out to them and their families and on behalf of the people of Hampshire I offer our sincere condolences to the Belgian people.’

He said he had sympathy and solidarity with the people of Belgium.