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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Sorrow and anger marks Asia's reponse
Chinese customer buying newspaper
Chinese newspapers sold out by early morning
Asian leaders have been swift to offer their condolences to the United States in the wake of Tuesday's devastating attacks on New York and Washington.

But there has also been considerable anger and talk of justice in the knowledge that large numbers of victims are expected to be Asian nationals.

I think now is the time for calm but lethal response

Australian Prime Minister John Howard
China's President Jiang Zemin sent a message to his American counterpart on Tuesday expressing his deep sympathy to the US Government and to the American people.

He also expressed condolences in to family members of victims.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said: "The Chinese Government consistently condemns and opposes all forms of violent terrorist activity."

US base on Okinawa island in Japan
US bases throughout the region have been put on high alert
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was more forceful in his message to President George W Bush.

He said he shared the president's anger over the attack: "This outrageous and vicious act of violence against the United States is unforgivable."

"We are outraged," he added.

'Deeds are what count'

Australia's Prime Minister John Howard, in Washington on a five-day official visit, said the time for words was over.

Australian woman and child
Australians have been shocked by the attack
"I think now is the time for calm but lethal response," he said, "at the end, deeds are what count."

Mr Howard committed Australia to support any response chosen by President Bush.

But at home, church leaders have called for calm after reports of attacks on Australia's Muslim community, apparently motivated by the suspicion that Islamic extremists were responsible for the devastation in America.

Tit-for-tat warning

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad urged the US not to take revenge, which he said would lead to more violence and possibly more deaths.

Indonesia's Government says it will consult the US authorities over a planned visit next week by President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Malaysian reading newspaper
Malaysian's were evacuated form the giant Petronas Twin Towers on Wednesday
The president on Wednesday in a letter to President Bush condemned "the brutal and inhuman attacks".

Pledging her support for international co-operation in fighting terrorism, Megawati said: "Indonesia will always be ready for that."

In Bangkok, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Thailand stood ready to give "any assistance to relieve the suffering and plight of the victims."

South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung held a special meeting of his national security council and in a nationwide television broadcast, offered condolences to the people of the United States, saying Koreans shared their anger and sorrow.

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.

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