French MSP thanks locals for solidarity

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French born MSP Christian Allard has thanked the north east community for its show of solidarity following the Charlie Hebdo shootings.

Mr Allard joined around 350 people for a “Je suis Charlie” show of solidarity in Aberdeen on Sunday January 11.

The North East event, which coincided with similar demonstrations across Europe, was organised by Julie Tchao on behalf of French community group Frogs in Aberdeen.

Hundreds of local residents joined those in the French community to show their support for the people affected by the attacks , which took place in Paris on Wednesday January 7.

At Parliament Mr Allard also lodged a motion to give fellow MSPs an opportunity to pay their respects and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland stands “shoulder to shoulder” with France in the wake of the deadly attacks.

Commenting, Mr Allard said: “That so many North East residents have come together to show solidarity with France is fantastic.

“I would like to thank those in Aberdeen’s French community that organised this event – many I spoke to were grateful to have the opportunity to show their support for the people of France.

“The tragic events in Paris have generated an instant response of solidarity across the world – and I would like to extend my thanks to all those who came out at the weekend.”

On January 7 at around 11.30am, two masked gunmen forced entry into the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

They killed 12 people including the newspaper’s editor Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier, seven other Charlie Hebdo employees and two police officers.

On January 9, police tracked the attackers to an industrial estate in northern France, where the pair had taken a hostage.

Another gunman also took hostages at a kosher supermarket near the Porte de Vincennes. Three terrorists and four hostages were killed in the supermarket.

Wednesday January 14 saw five million “survivor” issues of Charlie Hebdo printed. Newstands were sold out after a rush to buy copies.