9/11 Anniversary Marked Around The World

Tuesday, September 11th 2007, 9:58 am
By: News On 6

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) _ U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan marked the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks Tuesday by watching in silence as an American flag was lowered to half-staff at a U.S. base.

Maj. Gen. Robert Cone told some 100 U.S. soldiers that there is ``no alternative'' to victory over terrorism.

``We are here now six years later, not as a conquering force, not as an invader seeking to vanquish the Afghans, but rather to do what is right _ to seek out and destroy our common enemy,'' Cone said. ``As allies, we will train and equip the Afghans. We will help them to provide for their people because we are Americans.''

Air Force Staff Sgt. Gabrielle Evens said her sister had been living in New York during the attacks six years ago, causing her family several hours of worry before contact could be established. Evens said she was now serving in Afghanistan ``to help the Afghan people.''

At the U.S. air base near Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in the former Soviet Union, servicemen and women laid flowers at a memorial stone dedicated to Peter Ganci, the New York fire chief who died while rescuing people after the Sept. 11 attacks. The base supports U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan after the 2001 attacks.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said his country ``sincerely shares the grief felt by the American people on this day of mourning _ perhaps like no other country.'' In remarks carried by Russian news agencies, he noted that Russia has also been a target and ``knows the horrors of terrorism first hand.''

Earlier in the day, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper became the first Canadian leader to address Australia's parliament in its 106-year history.

``As 9/11 showed, if we abandon our fellow human beings to lives of poverty, brutality and ignorance in today's global village, their misery will eventually and inevitably become our own,'' Harper told a special joint sitting of the House of Representatives and Senate.

Canada, a wartime ally of Australia's since World War I, has more than 2,000 troops in Afghanistan. It has lost 70 soldiers plus a diplomat and a civilian contract worker in the conflict.

Australia has almost 1,000 troops in Afghanistan, with just one killed since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Violence is soaring this year in Afghanistan amid a resurgence by the Taliban, the Islamic militant movement that controlled the country prior to the U.S.-led invasion. More than 4,200 people, mostly militants, have died in insurgency-related violence in 2007, according to an Associated Press count based on figures from Afghan and Western officials.

In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he would stake his job on his parliament agreeing to continue the country's effort in Afghanistan, once a safe haven for al-Qaida.

The Japanese navy has been providing fuel for coalition warships in the Indian Ocean since November 2001 under a special anti-terrorism law, which already has been extended three times. The legislation, which expires in November, is a key issue in a special parliament session that opened Monday.

``We must not forget that six years ago, the terrorist attacks on the United States claimed the precious lives of 24 Japanese nationals,'' Abe told reporters at his official residence.

``The international community is united in its fight against terrorism, and it is imperative that Japan continue its contributions,'' Abe said. ``We must debate how to make such an extension possible,'' he said.

In Turkey, authorities said police thwarted a major bomb attack Tuesday when sniffer dogs led them to a minibus packed with explosives.

``A possible disaster has been prevented,'' Gov. Kemal Onal told reporters at the site of the Ankara parking garage where the van was found and the explosives successfully defused. He said security had been stepped up for anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.