Relatives and survivors remember 10th anniversary of deadly Bali bombings
Published 12/10/2012 | 09:16
SURVIVORS and relatives of those who lost their lives in the 2002 Bali bombings have gathered on the island to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on Indonesian soil.
A total of 202 people from 21 nations, including 28 Britons, were killed on October 12, 2002 when the al Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah group launched terror attacks on two Bali nightspots packed with tourists.
Threats of a repeat attack on the 10th anniversary prompted a high security presence at today's ceremony, which was attended by Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa, as well as Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, and John Howard, who was the country's leader at the time of the attacks. Among the dead were 88 Australians.
More than 2,000 police and military, including snipers, guarded the service after authorities raised security alerts to their highest level after receiving intelligence of a terrorist threat to the ceremony.
During the service a row of photographs of the victims was displayed and each person's name was read, while candles were lit to represent each of the nations that lost people.
Ms Gillard spoke of the "searing pain and grief" caused by the attacks.
Surgeon Fiona Wood, who led a team of Australian doctors that treated victims horribly burned in the attack, told the Associated Press of the survivors' bravery.
"A young woman whose injuries were beyond comprehension. The first thing she said when she came out of her coma was, 'I'll never run; will I walk again?" she said.
"I said, 'You will walk, you will run, you will race.' And in 2008, she beat me in an ironman."
Memorial services were also held across Australia to mark the anniversary, and a closed ceremony will be held today in London where more than 100 relatives and friends of British victims will mark the 10th anniversary.
At the ceremony, at the Bali bombings memorial near St James's Park, family members and friends will be joined by diplomats from other countries that lost people in the bombings, as well as Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire.
There will be a wreath-laying ceremony as well as a two-minute silence.
Relatives of the 28 British victims have also organised a service at St Paul's Church in Covent Garden.
They have said they want to see a final push to make sure those responsible are held to account.
Susanna Miller, whose brother Dan, 31, died in the attacks, while his wife Polly was badly burned, called for open justice for Hambali, claiming his nine-year detention without charge by the US is an "open travesty of human rights".
"We find ourselves in this slightly curious position of fighting for the rights of one of the people responsible for the deaths of our relatives," said Ms Miller.
The 45-year-old, who lives in north London, visited the Foreign Office last week to discuss the issue and a spokesman confirmed it is being looked into.
She said many relatives had not travelled to Bali for the anniversary because of security concerns.