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Kuta: Australia’s prime minister paid her respects yesterday to the 202 people who perished a decade ago in the Bali nightclub bombings, visiting a commemorative stone monument on the resort island now covered in flowers, flags and victims’ photos.
Friends and families of the dead -- many from Australia, which lost 88 citizens in the blasts -- have for the past week left tokens of their grief, some breaking down in tears, others looking for closure to an event that changed their lives.
“This has been a very emotional 24 hours in Bali,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard told reporters after visiting the monument, which stands across from the old Sari Club that Islamists attacked, together with Paddy’s Bar, on October 12, 2002, bringing carnage to Kuta’s party strip.
“This is time for us to mark a nation-changing event,” she said.
Gillard arrived in Indonesia Thursday night, despite police declaring their highest security alert over an apparent terror threat to Friday’s 10-year anniversary ceremony, which was attended by hundreds of families.
Police moved to reassure mourners hours before the ceremony, saying the threat was “not significant” and Gillard said yesterday she had felt no anxiety over the warning.
She praised Indonesia for its crackdown on terrorism.