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Peace Rally Held After Riots In England

BIRMINGHAM, England, Aug. 14 (UPI) — Thousands attended a rally for peace in Birmingham Sunday after the violent riots that shook the city and others in England last week, authorities said.

Police said there were as many as 5,000 people at the rally in Summerfield Park, the BBC reported.

A minute of silence was held during the during the event in remembrance of Haroon Jahan, 21, and brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, who died Wednesday protecting their businesses from rampaging looters.

“I hope that this community will remember them,” Tariq Jahan, father of Haroon Jahan, said during a speech at the rally.

Organizers said they hoped the rally would spark unity throughout the city.

“I think it is a great thing that all the communities want to come to say ‘one Birmingham, one city, one voice for peace,’” said the Rev. Mark Ryan of the Birmingham Christian Center.

“I came to show the respects to the family and to share their grief. I hope an event like this will create unity amongst all communities and all religions,” said rally-goer Akhar Ali of Birmingham.

Two people, 26-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy, who are charged with the deaths of the three men appeared in court earlier Sunday. They were in policy custody and will appear in Birmingham Crown Court Monday.

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