PARIS ATTACKS: First Minister offers support to people of France

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her thoughts are with the people of Paris

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her thoughts are with the people of Paris

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has pledged Scotland will do anything it can to help those affected by last nights atrocities in Paris.

In a statement released this morning, she said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of France following the horrific events last night.

‘‘We stand ready to help in any way we can.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale laid flowers at the French Consulate in Edinburgh this morning on behalf her party.

She said: ‘‘All Scots want to extend our deepest sympathy to the people of France.

‘‘The brutal and co-ordinated attack in Paris was an attack on all of us, not just across Europe but across the world.

‘‘In Paris, just as in Edinburgh and Washington and New York and Philadelphia, we take for granted the ordinary freedom to go out on Friday night to the theatre or a football match.

‘‘We expect to be able to do these things and return home safely to our families at the end of the night.

‘‘In Paris last night, that ordinary freedom was stolen.

‘‘The purpose of terror is to make us afraid of one another, to be fearful of the ordinary, and to make us suspicious of our neighbours.

‘‘But now more than ever we need to remind ourselves of what brings us together as human beings, as brothers and sisters, as neighbours, colleagues and friends whatever our creed or colour, whatever our background.

‘‘Those things that unite us are far more powerful, far more enduring and more deeply held than those things that divide us.’’

A total of 127 people are now said to have died in the attacks across Paris.

The Islamic State (IS) militant group has now claimed resoponsibility for what French President Francois Hollande says was an ‘‘act of war’’.

He addded that the attacks, carried out by eight gunmen and suicide bombers, were “organised and planned from outside”.

Targets included bars, restaurants, a concert and the football match between France and Germany.

Mr Hollande has announced three days of national mourning and raised the security threat level to its highest point, declaring a nationwide state of emergency.

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