Bali bombings remembered 10 years on | News | DW | 12.10.2012
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Bali bombings remembered 10 years on

Bali has marked the 10-year anniversary of the 2002 nightclub bombings with an emotional ceremony. Some 202 people, including 88 Australians, were killed in the attack.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, pictured on the left above, joined survivors and relatives of the dead who gathered on the Indonesian island on Friday to remember the victims of the twin blasts.

"This is a day of contesting emotions from anger and unamended loss to forgiveness and reconciliation with a bitter past," Julia Gillard said. "Perhaps there is a grim reassurance in knowing that the terrorists did not achieve what they set out to do," she added.

A foreign tourist (R) looks at the destroyed building of what remains of the Padi club the day after a bomb blast in Denpasar, on the Indonesian island of Bali, 13 October 2002. The huge car bomb ripped through two bars late 12 October packed with foreign tourists on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, killing at least 182 people in an attack blamed on terrorists. AFP PHOTO/CHOO Youn-Kong (Photo credit should read CHOO YOUN-KONG/AFP/Getty Images)

The Padi club was a target of the blast ten years ago

Addressing mourners at the emotional ceremony, Indonesian embassy charge d'affaires Wiwiek Setyawati Firman said that all Indonesians felt anger "as to why this happened and why this happened in Bali".

"Ten years on the pain of the loss still remains and we will remember them forever," she said.

Also in attendance were the Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, on the right in the picture above, and John Howard, the Australian prime minister at the time of the attack. Separate ceremonies were held across Australia in Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, and the capital, Canberra.

On October 12, 2002, suicide bombers targetted the island's Kuta party strip, killing 202 people. Among the dead were 164 foreigners from 21 nations. For Australia, the Bali bombs were the worst peacetime attack on its citizens.

The al Qaeda-linked Southeast Asian terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah has been blamed for the atrocity. In 2003, 23 people were handed sentences ranging from five years to death for their role in the bombings. Three were executed in 2008.

Security was tight in Bali in the days leading up to the anniversary amid concerns of a possible terrorist attack. Police warned Wednesday that they had received "credible information" that the ceremony may be targeted.

ccp/av (AFP, Reuters, dpa)