VARIOUS: World leaders and American soldiers overseas lead global commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the...
- Title: VARIOUS: World leaders and American soldiers overseas lead global commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks
- Date: 12th September 2006
- Summary: (BN08) MOSCOW, RUSSIA (SEPTEMBER 11, 2006) (REUTERS) PRIESTS ENTERING CHURCH FOREIGN DIPLOMATS ATTENDING CHURCH CEREMONY PEOPLE PRAYING U.S. DELEGATES AND ORTHODOX PRIEST TOLLING BELL (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA WILLIAM BURNS SAYING: "I think today is a day to remember the victims and not only those of the terrorist attack on the 11th of September but all the victims of terrorism in recent years, including those in Russia. But it is also a day to re-dedicate ourselves to international cooperation in the struggle against terrorism." OFFICIAL TOLLING BELL EXTERIOR OF CHURCH
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- Topics: International Relations
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- Story Text: American soldiers on the front-line of the war on terror and world leaders led global commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on Monday (September 11).
In the Afghan capital Kabul, hundreds of American troops stationed there held a minute of silence to remember the victims. Some were standing on the roofs of buildings, and many were crying.
But five years on, Afghanistan is wracked by more violence than at any time since the U.S. invasion in 2001 which ousted Afghanistan's Taliban authorities to punish them for sheltering September 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
More than 2,000 people have died in fighting this year and NATO, which has taken over from U.S.-led forces in the Taliban heartland in the south, has launched its biggest offensive in a bid to crush the rebels.
Afghanistan combined forces commander Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry Commander of Combined Forces Command Afghanistan who led Monday's commemoration pledged to continue the fight against terrorism.
"Much work still needs to be done here, but the enemy in Afghanistan will fail just as they failed elsewhere in the world. The war on terrorism began here in Afghanistan and it continues today," Eikenberry said in a short speech at the memorial.
Alicia Watkins, a U.S. soldier serving in Afghanistan wept as she stood before the stars and stripes at half mast and spoke of being in the Pentagon during the attacks five years ago.
"I recognise the strength and the courage that flows through American blood. President Bush said it best "we will not tire, we will not falter, we will not fail". That is what motivates us to put on the uniform every morning, that is what compels us to go beyond the wire, in to harm's way. Those are the memories that will always stay with me" said Watkins.
In Australia, Prime Minister John Howard reaffirmed his country's commitment to the war on terror.
Australia is a strong ally of the United States and has troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We also gather to reaffirm our commitment both as friends and allies of the people of the United States but also the citizens of the world to maintain the fight against terrorism," said Howard during ceremonies held at the U.S. embassy in the capital Canberra.
Canberra has gradually strengthened its anti-terrorism laws since September 11 but Muslim leaders say their community has been unfairly targeted by authorities.
Australia has about 280,000 Muslims and they make up about 1.5 percent of the population.
In central London, friends and family of the 67 British victims gathered at Grosvenor Square, close to the U.S. embassy to mark the anniversary.
Culture secretary Tessa Jowell and U.S. Ambassador Robert Tuttle led the mourners across the grassy square to the memorial garden.
"We're here to remember and to honour those who are no longer with us. And I hope that while we are not a traditional family, time will serve not only as a memorial of the past but also as a symbol of our unity as we move towards the future," said Tuttle.
Short speeches were made before a minute's silence was held at 13.46, the exact time the first plane hit one of the World Trade Centre towers.
In Moscow, foreign diplomats attended an Orthodox church service at Moscow's Cathedral of Katherine Vspolie.
"I think today is a day to remember the victims and not only those of the terrorist attack on the 11th of September, but all the victims of terrorism attacks in recent years, including those in Russia. But it is also a day to re-dedicate ourselves to international cooperation in the struggle against terrorism," U.S. ambassador to Russia, William Burns, said after the ceremony.
Russia, post-September 11, has been cooperating with the United States in the fight against international terrorism. But some human rights groups have accused Moscow of using the pretext of the global war on terror to clamp down on rebellions in Chechnya and neighbouring southern Russian rep
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