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Mikaeel Kular: Memorial service held in Edinburgh

Hundreds gathered in the Muirhouse area of Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow

Hundreds gathered in the Muirhouse area of Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow

Hundreds of people turned out this evening for the memorial service at Muirhouse St Andrew’s Church.

The service took place less than a mile from Mikaeel’s home.

There was a large queue to get into the church well in advance of the service. The crowds ultimately filled the 300-capacity building and an overflow room which could hold another 80 people.

Men, women and children of all ages lined up to attend the memorial gathering. Some very young children clutched soft toys while a handful of people held lanterns.

At the end of the gathering, all those who had attended exited carrying the remains of candles they had been holding during the service.

Some people hugged each other and a Chinese lantern could be seen floating in the skies above the chapel.

Among those attending the service was Edinburgh Western MSP Colin Keir.

Speaking ahead of the event, he said recent events had shattered the whole area, but also galvanised a sense of community spirit.

He said: “The emotional attachment that the communities round here have had to this investigation has really brought them all together.

“I’m really proud of them. I’m in a privileged position being able to sit in the Scottish Parliament representing these people. The community’s not had its problems to seek over the past 50-60 years but you can see what happens when one of their own is affected, particularly a three-year-old kid. They’ve acted sensationally.”

He also said: “Police Scotland here have done a phenomenal job. There’s nothing can be more difficult than trying to find a missing child. “

Also attending the service was Akeel Umar. He said: “I think everyone in the community is very sad. Today is an opportunity for everyone to come together on an issue that touches everyone. It’s just a very concerning time for everyone.

“Everyone is touched and shocked by what’s happened. Thousands of people came out searching yesterday and the day before. Today’s really just as a mark of respect.”

Mr Umar was accompanied by Nasim Azad, who added: “When you take everything away there’s nothing between us. We are a community, we care. The fact that we’re here today is because we care. It’s as simple as that.”

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