Some 30,000 Danes March in Memory of Copenhagen Terror Victims

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People hold candles as they attend a memorial service held for those killed on Saturday by a 22-year-old gunman, in Copenhagen February 16, 2015.Credit: Reuters

An estimated 30,000 Danes turned out for a torch-lit march on Monday night in memory of the two people killed and five wounded by a suspected Islamic terrorist on Saturday, the Danish news website The Local reported.

One of the victims was Dan Uzan, a Jewish volunteer who was guarding a Copenhagen synagogue when it was attacked by a gunman identified by Danish media as Omar el-Hussein, 22, a Dane of Palestinian descent.

Hussein was killed in a shoot-out with police several hours after the attack on the synagogue, where a bat mitzvah ceremony was in progress.

The march began with a rally near the cafe that was the site of the first attack on Saturday, where a Danish civilian attending a free speech debate was killed.

Flags on all Danish public buildings were flown at half-mast on Monday. Walking in a quiet, solemn procession, many of the protesters left flowers and Danish and Israeli flags outside the synagogue.

The rally was attended by Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a large number of Danish politicians and the leaders of other Scandinavian countries.

"We have now experienced the fear that terrorism seeks to spread," the prime minister said, calling for national unity. “We know that there are fanatics who hold others’ right to live in contempt.”

"An attack on Denmark's Jews is an attack on Denmark, on all of us,” she added. "We stand shoulder to shoulder, Jews, Muslims, Christians. We stand together as Danes."

Also attending the rally was French ambassador to Denmark François Zimeray, who was at the café when the shooting took place.

“Human rights are not only the cause of states or institutions,” Zimeray told the crowd. “They depend all over the world on activists. It is our duty to protect them.”

The shootings, Denmark’s worst terror attack in decades, came two weeks after el-Hussein was released from prison, where he served two years for grievous bodily harm.

The Local reported that the gunman had been identified by prison authorities as being at risk of becoming radicalized.

Two men have been arrested and are facing charges of helping the gunman obtain guns and hiding him in the hours between the two attacks.

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