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Hundreds attend candlelit vigil for victims of Westminster attack

Joel Ford, AFP | Hundreds of people attended a candlelit vigil in London on March 23, 2017 for the victims of the attack on Westminster.

Hundreds gathered in London on Thursday for a candlelit vigil in memory of the victims of the attack near the British parliament, which claimed the lives of a police officer, an American tourist, a British woman and an unidentified 75-year-old man.

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan led the tributes in a heavily policed Trafalgar Square, vowing "Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism".

Here’s what we know about the victims so far:

Officer Keith Palmer

Palmer, 48, was standing guard at the British parliament on Wednesday when he was stabbed to death by the attacker. He was married with a five-year-old daughter.

In a statement, Palmer’s family mourned his loss, describing him as a loving, courageous man who was dedicated to his job and his favourite football club, Charlton FC.

“He will be deeply missed. We love him so much,” the statement read.

Video: life returns to normal in streets of London

British Prime Minister Theresa May paid tribute to Palmer during a speech before parliament on Thursday. “He was every inch a hero, and his actions will never be forgotten,” she said.

Before joining the parliamentary and diplomatic command less than a year ago, Palmer served as an officer with the Metropolitan Police (Met) in London for nearly 16 years.

In honour of their fallen colleague, the Met announced it would retire Palmer’s identification number in a tweet on Thursday.

Members of the public also donated more than £325,000 to a memorial fund set up by the Metropolitan Police Federation for Palmer’s family.

Kurt Cochran

Cochran, an American citizen, was strolling with his wife Melissa across Westminster Bridge when he was hit by an SUV driven by the attacker. Cochran was killed in the incident, and his wife seriously injured.

The couple from Utah were in London for the last day of a whirlwind European holiday to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

Family said they were devastated by the death of Cochran, whom they described as a “good man and loving husband”.

US President Donald Trump honoured Cochran on Thursday, calling him “a great American”.

A memorial fund has been set up by Cochran’s family to help support his wife Melissa.

Aysha Frade

Frade, a 43-year-old British woman, was on her way to pick up her two young daughters from school when she was fatally struck by the attacker as he sped across Westminster Bridge, according to media reports.

Her mother was from the northwestern Spanish town of Betanzos, where officials and residents held a moment of silence in her memory on Thursday.

In a note on its Facebook page, the local town hall said that "Aysha was the daughter of a Betanzos resident and was linked by family and emotionally to our town."

Three days of mourning for the victims of the attack were also called in Betanzos.

Unidentified 75-year-old man

An unidentified 75-year-old man who was injured in the attack died of his wounds on Thursday evening, police said.

"The man had been receiving medical treatment in hospital following the attack and life support was withdrawn this evening," police said in a statement, without giving further information.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

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