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Europe

International Community Condemns Moscow Bombings

After Saturday’s deadly suicide bombings in Moscow, world leaders expressed their shock and condemnation. They said the attacks show that the international community needs to strengthen efforts to fight terrorism.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has received condolences from leaders around the world.

Shortly after two bombs blasted through a heavily-visited open-air festival at Moscow’s Tushino airfield, killing at least 18 and injuring dozens more, leaders from around the world rallied to the cause of fighting terrorism. They also expressed shock and offered their condolences to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the families of the victims.

In the after math of the attacks, U.S. President George W. Bush stressed his country’s solidarity with Russia and sent a message of condolence to those who had lost family in the blasts. In a statement read by American Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow, the president said, "Today freedom is under threat. We have become witnesses of a horrifying terror act. "

Germany’s Chancellor Gerhard Schröder also issued a statement condemning the suicide bombings as an act of terrorism. In a telegram to the Russian president on Saturday, Schröder said Saturday’s bombings proved "once again that terrorism in all its forms must be completely and resolutely wiped out." He offered Putin his "deep-felt sympathies" for the many lives lost.

German Interior Minister Otto Schilly sent a fax to his Russian counterpart Boris Gryzlov lamenting the violent attacks. "This terrible event unfortunately makes clear yet again how ruthless terrorists are when they follow their criminal goals," he said. The federal government of Germany "vehemently condemns the attack which can never be justified by any means."

European Commission President Romano Prodi also offered his condolences to Russia and said the bombings underlined the need to bolster anti-terrorism efforts. In a statement released by his spokesperson, Prodi stressed that "we must strengthen efforts and coordination to fight terrorism, because nothing can justify the killing of innocent people."

The Council of Europe in Strasbourg, to which Russia belongs, has in the past frequently criticized the country for human rights violations committed by its army in the breakaway republic of Chechnya. But upon hearing the news of the terrorist attacks in Moscow, it issued a full condemnation of the act.

Walter Schwimmer, Secretary General of the Council, said, "I strongly condemn the bombing in Moscow that caused the death of so many innocent people who had gathered for some moments of joy at a concert," and added, "Violence and bloodshed can never be a solution for any problem."

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