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Paris turns off Eiffel Tower lights in solidarity with Egypt

IANS | Paris |

The lights of the Eiffel Tower are set to be turned off in support for the Coptic community of Egypt, where a bus carrying Coptic Christians was shot at by gunmen killing at least 28 persons and wounding more than 20 in Minya province.

The symbolic blackout of the monument was announced by the Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Friday night from her Twitter account, Efe news reported.

Hidalgo lamented that the Christian community in Egypt was again the target of a barbaric and cowardly attack, adding that her thoughts are with the victims and their families.

On Friday night, the Eiffel Tower will be shut down from 12.45 a.m. (local time) as a sign of sympathy to Egyptian Copts, said her second tweet.

Built to the west of Paris in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited monuments in the world and one of the characteristic views of the city.

The last time the monument's lights were turned off was on May 23, in tribute to the 22 persons killed and dozens wounded in the terror attack in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Condemning the attack, French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian said: "I condemn in the name of France with the utmost firmness the cowardly and barbarous act that plagues Egypt. No one should fear for his life by exercising the fundamental right to freely practice his faith."