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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Scotland joins US in grief
The American flag is at half-mast
Flags are flying at half-mast across Scotland
Across Scotland the impact of the world's worst terrorist attack is being felt as US citizens here struggle to understand what has happened in their homeland.

In Edinburgh, the US Consulate is being guarded by police and the flag flies at half-mast.

People - and there are thought to be about 20,000 Americans living in Scotland - have been leaving floral tributes and lighting candles at the consulate.

A further 500,000 American tourists visit Scotland each year and many visitors have been attending church since news of the atrocities broke on Tuesday afternoon.

Katie Mosehaver
Katie Mosehaver said people rallied round
In Lockerbie, people have been particularly shocked by the attacks in the USA.

In Aberdeen, American children at the International School have been given counselling after watching the tragedy on television.

Books of Condolence have been opened in several Scottish cities - in Glasgow, the Lord Provost was the first person to sign.

Americans have been rallying round to share information about friends and relatives at home, and they have been pulling together to try to get through to the US on congested phone lines.

Katie Mosehaver, an American student visiting Edinburgh, said: "It's just devastating. We all tried the phones all day and we all used the same calling cards, but no-one could get through.

"It was just a sense of community as people were trying to help each other find each others' families."

Yousaf Inait
Yousaf Inait said the Scottish Muslim community was in shock
As the finger of suspicion has been pointed at the Muslim world, that community in Scotland has been anxious to join with those condemning the attacks.

Yousaf Inait, a leader of the Scottish Muslim community, said: "In Scotland they are living as peaceful citizens.

"Islam doesn't preach any kind of violence at all and any person who is of any kind of religion, or none at all."

He added: "It is a shocking thing for all of us."

BBC Scotland reporter Isabel Fraser said that she had found the American community in Scotland to be experiencing a sense of absolute helplessness.

See also:

11 Sep 01 | Americas
US rocked by terrorist attacks
11 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair speaks of 'shock and outrage'
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