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Swedes join Europe's silence for Paris victims

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Swedes join Europe's silence for Paris victims
People taking part in the silence outside the French Embassy in Stockholm over the weekend. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT
09:41 CET+01:00
Flags are flying at half mast around Sweden and a minute's silence has been held across Europe for the victims of the terror attack in Paris on Friday.

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Swedes fell silent for a minute at midday as the country remembered the 129 victims of the violence in France over the weekend, including a Swedish woman in her twenties who was from Västerås, north west of Stockholm.

Another Swedish woman who was studying in Paris and was friends with the victim is understood to remain in hospital after being injured in the violence on Friday.

Municipal authorities across Sweden observed the short period of reflection alongside many public workplaces.


Police taking part in the silence outside the French Embassy in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The Local joined dozens of mourners outside the French Embassy in Stockholm.

One woman, 23, who gave her name only as Elodie, said that she had moved to the Swedish capital just five months ago and was struggling to deal with being away from her friends and family in the wake of the shootings.

"It is so hard. I am from Paris and I feel for them so much. I get so sad when I think about what has happened," she said, breaking down in tears.

Swedes were also among the crowds.

"It looks so nice, I am really moved," said one woman, reflecting on the piles of flowers that have been building up outside the embassy since Friday.


Elodie, 23, who took part in the silence. Photo: Emma Löfgren/The Local

Other countries around Europe also took part in the silence initiative which came from European Union officials. The violence in Paris was the biggest terror attack on European soil since simultaneous train bombings in Madrid in 2004 killed 191 people.

Government buildings around Sweden and Europe lowered their flags.

 

 

Meanwhile European foreign ministers, including Sweden's Margot Wallström, were meeting in Brussels.

In a statement on Monday, the mayor of Västerås, Anders Teljebäck said his city sent its "deepest sympathy" to all those affected by the attacks.

"The crimes are abhorrent and must be condemned in every way," he said.
 
"The world has suffered. Paris has suffered. And Västerås has been affected. Right now our focus and most important task is to provide the best possible support to all who need it. Our deepest sympathy goes to the victims and next of kin."
 
Västerås municipality said on its website that the family of the Swedish woman killed in the violence wanted to be left alone to grieve and asked for the media to "leave the friends of their daughter alone".
 
Meanwhile a special hotline was set up for anyone in the city affected by the attacks. It will be manned from 8am until 10pm until further notice. The number is (00 46) 021 39 90 00.

Peaceful rallies in support of the French community have been organised in Örebro in central Sweden and in Umeå in the north.

Stockholmers paid their respects on Saturday in a demonstration in Sergels Torg, one of the Swedish capital's largest public squares, while Västerås cathedral held a memorial service for the Swedish victim.

In Paris, a memorial service was held at the Notre Dame Cathedral on Sunday night.

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