Public logs on for 31,000 messages of support

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The Independent Online

Two online books of condolence set up by Cambridgeshire police and the county council had received 31,000 messages by late yesterday, with expressions of sympathy from as far afield as the Middle East and Sri Lanka.

Two online books of condolence set up by Cambridgeshire police and the county council had received 31,000 messages by late yesterday, with expressions of sympathy from as far afield as the Middle East and Sri Lanka.

One website displayed pictures of the girls and a selection of messages. Some gave details of the writers, others wrote of personal tragedies that had affected their lives. But most simply wished to express their sorrow at what had happened.

"No words, no reason, no sense, no nothing. Just grief, sickness are all we have left where goodness used to be," said one note for the parents of the murdered 10-year olds.

People from countries torn apart by their own traumatic troubles were especially keen to express their sympathy.

"I'm a 13-year-old boy from Palestine," said one. "I heard the dreadful news of the two girls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. I've been following the latest news every day, hoping that it would turn out well." Next to it an Israeli man from Jerusalem had written: "We hope and pray that in future you will know no more sorrow."

Another entry said: "I was following your daughter's case from day one here in Sri Lanka ... the final outcome has been incomprehensible and intolerable, even for me, someone from a war-hardened country thousands of miles away.

"Sitting here at work reading the messages from around the country and around the world work seems so irrelevant when I try to imagine what you must be feeling."

A teenager wrote: "I am 15 years old and I'm only just learning how unfair this world can be." Another unnamed man wrote online yesterday: "An immeasurable loss, so needless, so heartbreaking. The nation stands beside you."

Across the country, conventional books of condolence began to fill up. In London-derry, Kathleen McCloskey, the Mayor, was the first to sign.