Scotland

Women from Scotland describe escaping Paris attack

Mariesha Payne and Christine Tudhope
Image caption The two friends hid in a cellar during the attack on a rock concert

Two Scottish women who attended the rock concert attacked by gunmen in Paris have been describing how they escaped.

Christine Tudhope, 34, and Mariesha Payne, 33, hid in a cellar at the Bataclan concert hall for three hours.

The majority of victims in Friday's attacks were at the concert.

The women ran for cover when they first saw bullets hit the stage during a performance by US band Eagles of Death Metal.

As they arrived at Edinburgh Airport on Sunday Ms Payne, who is from Perth, said: "A second round went off, most people ducked, but I just said run, just get out of here.

"In the confusion if we had gone left we would have instantly been out on to the street and probably the first people out of the building, but just confused we ran right and ended up being in room that we couldn't get out of.

"There were no exits but we found a door to the cellar, which we just ran into but then realised we were trapped and there was no way out of there.

"A few seconds later the door burst open and we just thought, they're coming, we are going to die.

"It was two other concert goers, we managed to barricade ourselves in, turn the lights out and we were then trapped there for the next three hours just having to listen to what was happening."

At least 129 people died in the attacks. Follow the latest updates here.

Prayers

Prayers have been said for the people of Paris at religious events across Scotland on Sunday.

The Church of Scotland held a memorial service at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh to honour the victims of Friday's attacks.

About 600 people gathered for the service, which included a minute's silence for those caught in the violence.

Image caption Many flowers have been left at the French consulate in Edinburgh

Prayers were also said at the Scots Kirk in central Paris, a traditional gathering point for Scots in the city.

The largest organisation representing Muslims in Scotland said they are "shocked at the senseless acts of wanton violence seen in Paris".

Muslim Council of Scotland convener Dr Javed Gill said "We condemn in the strongest terms this senseless violence and offer our deepest condolences to the victims.

"The targeting of innocent people going about their normal lives is nothing short of despicable."

The council said it recognised the threat posed by those behind the Paris attacks and will continue to work with the authorities in Scotland to ensure the safety of all communities.

Lights demonstration

On Saturday evening, the Usher Hall in Edinburgh and Glasgow's Hydro were lit in French colours as a mark of respect.

They were among the Scottish venues joining hundreds of landmarks around the world in their response to the Paris attacks.

A number of public events were organised in Scotland after the assaults in the French capital.

A vigil was held in Glasgow to show support for the people affected by the violence.

People gathered at the Buchanan Gallery steps to express their solidarity.

At the French Consulate in Edinburgh, people were invited to sign a book of condolence. Many floral tributes were laid outside the building.

Image caption Glasgow's Hydro was one of many buildings around the world lit red, white and blue for France

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