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Girlfriend's anguish at memorial for London Bridge victims

Sky News logo Sky News 02/12/2019

a group of people looking at a birthday cake: Leanne O'Brien, the girlfriend of Mr Merritt, was supported by family members during the service in Cambridge © PA Leanne O'Brien, the girlfriend of Mr Merritt, was supported by family members during the service in Cambridge The girlfriend of one of the London Bridge terror attack victims has been comforted as she sobbed through a memorial in his hometown.

Twin vigils were held in London and in Cambridge this morning to remember Saskia Jones, 23, and 25-year-old Jack Merritt who were fatally stabbed during the attack by convicted terrorist Usman Khan on Friday.

Leanne O'Brien, the grieving girlfriend of Mr Merritt, clutched a cuddly toy and wept as she was supported by family members during the remembrance service in Cambridge, where both victims had been students.

Related: 'They really were the best of us': Tributes paid to attack victims

a man smiling for the camera: Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt had both been students at Cambridge © PA Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt had both been students at Cambridge

In London, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn stood side-by-side as they observed a minute's silence, along with the city's mayor Sadiq Khan and members of the public.

Mr Khan urged people to come together following the killings and said the "best way to defeat this hatred is not by turning on one another but by focusing on the values that bind us".

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He said: "We come together this morning as Londoners to remember, to honour and to mourn the innocent lives lost as a result of this horrific terrorist attack on Friday."

The mayor also thanked the public and the emergency services who "ran towards danger, risking their lives to help others".

Meanwhile, Ms Jones' former school, Winchester House, has paid tribute to her.

Gallery: Terror returns to London Bridge (Photos)

It said in a statement: "We are shocked and saddened by the news of her death as she was an extraordinary young person; an individual who was talented across the realms of sport, music and academia.

"It is rare to witness such selflessness in one so young and we are proud that she was a member of our school. As a community our thoughts and prayers are with her family."

The remembrance services were held as it emerged that one of nine extremists convicted in 2012 alongside Usman Khan for plotting to attack the London Stock Exchange had been arrested in Stoke-on-Trent.

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Nazam Hussain, 34, was detained on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts after a search of his home address, following a review of terrorists released on licence in the wake of the latest atrocity.

Khan, also from Stoke, was on licence and wearing an electronic tag when he launched his deadly assault at a prisoner rehabilitation conference. Three other people were also injured.

The 28-year-old, who was released from prison in December 2018, halfway through a 16-year prison sentence, had been given permission to travel into central London by police and the Probation Service.

Wielding two knives and wearing a fake suicide vest, he was tackled by members of the public, including ex-offenders from the conference, before he was shot dead by police.

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