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Thursday, 19 April, 2001, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Oklahoma marks bomb anniversary
The Oklahoma federal building
The bomb killed 168 people and injured hundreds more
Church bells rang out in Oklahoma City on Thursday as families and friends marked the sixth anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building.

On the memorial which marks the site of the bomb speakers read the names of the 149 adults and 19 children killed in the 19 April blast.

Fireman carrying Oklahoma bomb victim
Nineteen children were amongst those killed
"As we have for the past six years, we come together today to honour and respect those who were so senselessly taken from us, those who have persevered so much pain and those who worked so selflessly to help on that terrible morning," said Bob Johnson, chairman of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation.

"Your loved ones have not been forgotten and the memorial is a fitting tribute to assure that they never will be," he told listeners.

Silence

The families stood silent for 168 seconds, ending with the ringing of church bells and the song "Let There Be Peace on Earth."

Kari Watkins, spokeswoman for the memorial, said families and bombing survivors "just wanted to have a low-key, simple ceremony".

"On other years we've had a groundbreaking or been under construction," she said. "Now, things are done."

Hundreds of people, including President Clinton, attended the fifth anniversary ceremony, when the memorial on the bombing site was opened.

Museum dedicated

Two months ago, President Bush dedicated a museum on the memorial grounds.

The memorial includes 168 chairs bearing the names of the victims; the "survivor tree," an elm tree that lived through the bombing though badly damaged; a reflecting pool; and bronze gates that symbolically preserve the moment of the explosion, 0902.

Timothy McVeigh
McVeigh is due to be executed in May

Timothy McVeigh, convicted of the bombing, is scheduled to be executed on 16 May at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

US Attorney-General John Ashcroft has said that about 250 survivors and relatives of those killed in the bombing will be allowed to watch the execution via closed-circuit television.

He also said that McVeigh would be allowed to give media interviews before his death.

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12 Apr 01 | Americas
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16 Jan 01 | Americas
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