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For al-Qaeda's victims, a long sought for closure

Photo: AP

A woman cries in reaction to the news of the death of Osama bin Laden in New York on Monday. At left is the rising tower, 1 World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower. —

NEW YORK/London/Madrid/Nairobi: For the kin of those killed in al-Qaeda's attacks across the globe in the last two decades, the killing of Osama bin Laden brought a long sought for closure.

In New York, among the crowds were relatives of the dead, firemen and police who took part in the dramatic rescue as the twin towers collapsed after being hit by two hijacked planes.

“There is no greater joy in my life than to know that this man is dead,” said Harry Gomez, a National Guard trooper who was among the first on the scene on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Diane Massaroli joined crowds clutching a photograph of her husband, Michael, a worker at the Cantor Fitzgerald brokerage who could not escape from his office on the 101st floor. His remains were never found. “I feel relief, I feel a closure that I thought I would never get,” she told NY1 television.

New York firemen who paid a huge human price in the September 11 attacks joined more crowds in Times Square, again singing the national anthem and waving flags.

Two of the four hijacked jets crashed into the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001. More than 2,750 were killed in New York out of the approximately 3,000 killed in all.

About 400 police and fire personnel died when the towers crashed down in financial district, others have died since.

Zeshan Hamdani, whose brother Mohammad died rescuing victims in the towers, also found relief in the death of bin Laden. “I am happy but I feel like crying. It's great to finally get this guy,” he said.

Britain

John Falding, whose partner Anat Rosenberg died in the London bombings, said: “There will be relief and comfort for victims of al-Qaeda all around the world. But I think also it's a short-lived victory, in a way, because we now have to be on our guard. I think there will be reprisals — if only so that people can demonstrate that the organisation...still has potency.”

In July 2005, four young British Islamists killed 52 commuters in suicide bomb attacks on the capital's transport network.

Sean Cassidy, whose 22-year-old son Ciaran was killed in the London bombings said: “I am very happy, and very well done to the Yanks, they deserve their praise.”

Kenya

A survivor of the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing in downtown Nairobi sobbed Monday as he prayed in front of a wall commemorating those killed in al-Qaeda's double embassy attack. Douglas Sidialo, who lost his eyesight in the blast, went to the site after the announcement of Osama bin Laden's death, and said Monday was a day to remember those who have died in terror attacks. “This is a day of great honour to the survivors and victims of terrorism in the world,” Mr. Sidialo told AP Television News. “A day to remember those whose lives were changed forever. A day of great relief to us victims and survivors to see that bin Laden has been killed.” — AP, AFP, PTI

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