People Around the World Remember Sept. 11 Attacks

Posted September 11th, 2011 at 12:05 pm (UTC-5)
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People around the world have somberly marked the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States that killed almost 3,000 people in one day.

World leaders and citizens took time to recall the horrific attacks that left nationals from about 90 countries dead after planes crashed into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon outside Washington, DC, and a field in Pennsylvania.

In Italy, Pope Benedict prayed for the victims of the attacks, as well as their families. The leader of the world's Roman Catholics called on all people to “reject violence” as a way to resolve their differences, and instead work on the principles of solidarity, justice and peace.

In New Zealand, members of the American rugby team took part in an emotional memorial service commemorating the attacks, before their World Cup match against Ireland. The U.S. team later lost the match.

U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand David Huebner spoke to those gathered of how the world watched in horror as the planes crashed into buildings.

U.S. team member Mike Petri remembered he was in high school just blocks away when the two hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center in New York, destroying the towers and killing many hundreds inside.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan also paid tribute to the September 11, 2001 victims. Marine Corps Gen. John Allen marked the somber anniversary in a speech recalling the decade of war.

The Pakistan government said Sunday it joined the world in honoring the memory of those who died on September 11 ten years ago, as well as all victims of terrorism in the world since then.

Pakistan, a U.S. ally on the war on terror and the conflict in Afghanistan, has suffered multiple terrorism attacks in the past decade. But the country also has large numbers of Taliban along its western border, and al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed in May this year while hiding in a compound north of the capital, Islamabad.

The Taliban, which has accused the United States of using the attacks as a “pretext” to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, on Sunday claimed responsibility for a truck bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan that wounded nearly 80 American soldiers, and killed two people.

Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad echoed the Taliban's accusations.

The United States invaded Afghanistan shortly after the attacks, overthrowing the Taliban government which had sheltered the terrorist al-Qaida network. Ten years later, 130,000 international forces are still battling the Taliban.

At a war memorial in Canberra, Australia, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd joined in laying a wreath in memory of those who died.

British nationals marked the day with a memorial service in London's St. Paul's Cathedral.

Tennis champion Rafael Nadal also took time at the U.S. Open to offer a tribute to those who died.

In a stark reminder that terrorism is still a threat, Sweden arrested four people suspected of planning a terror attack in Gothenburg, the country's second largest city, on the eve of September 11.

Swedish authorities closed off an arts center in the city for several hours. They did not give any additional details about the potential attack.