Sunderland landmarks to be lit up as a mark of solidarity with Sri Lanka
Major landmarks, structures and public spaces across Sunderland will be lit up from dusk tonight in solidarity with Sri Lanka.
The colours of the Sri Lankan flag, green, orange and red, will be seen across the city as a mark of respect for all those killed and injured in the Easter Sunday terror attacks.
The Northern Spire, the National Trust's Penshaw Monument, Keel Square, Seaburn Lighthouse, High Street West and Fulwell Mill will be lit from dusk today until Sunday, April 28, when it will be a week since the bombings.
Coun Graeme Miller, the Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "These attacks were sickening and it’s right that our city reflects on these acts of barbarism and terror.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.
"As part of the international community it is important that Sunderland shows its sympathy and support to all those who have been affected."
At least six suicide bombers were involved in six attacks — three at luxury hotels and three at churches celebrating Easter — across Sri Lanka on Sunday.
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Combined, the attacks killed at least 359 people and injured at least 500 more.
While ISIS claimed responsibility, there is no direct evidence the group coordinated the bombings. Authorities have arrested 40 people in connection to the attacks.
Faith leaders in Sunderland will hold a vigil for people of all religions at St Mary's Church in the city centre's Bridge Street tomorrow, Thursday, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.
Reverend Chris Howson, who is Sunderland University chaplain, has called on anyone who wants to show support to attend the event, which is being organised by the city's Inter Faith Forum.
He said: "We have people here in Sunderland who have been affected by the incident. It has mostly affected Catholic students and their families and we feel that we need to show support for them.
"Anyone who wants to express their sadness and solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka are more than welcome to join in the event."