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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 December 2005, 22:28 GMT
Sydney welcomes in the New Year
Fireworks in Sydney
Fireworks lit up the skies over Sydney harbour
Revellers in the Australian city of Sydney welcomed in the New Year with a huge firework display.

An estimated one million people watched as huge plumes of colour lit up the sky on the stroke of midnight (1300 GMT).

But security was high, with some 1,700 police patrolling streets and beaches to prevent a repeat of the race-related violence earlier in the month.

Countries across the Pacific and Asia joined in with celebrations to welcome in the New Year.

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Celebrations were more jubilant than those of last year, many of which were replaced with prayers and vigils to remember the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.

However, Indonesia - whose province of Aceh suffered some of the worst damage in last December's tsunami - was on high alert from possible extremists after a bomb killed eight and wounded 45 others.

In Japan, police said they were expecting a rush up the snowy slopes of Mount Fuji as thousands of people were thought likely to want a good view of the first sunrise of the New Year.

Hong Kong held a massive light and sound show, setting off fireworks from buildings around its famous Victoria Harbour.

Hundreds of thousands people in Malaysia gathered in the capital Kuala Lumpur for an evening of concerts and fireworks.

Two people died in the Philippines as guns were fired in celebration of the New Year. AP news agency also reported two deaths after revellers ate a popular type of sparkler which looks like confectionary.

In China, bells and drums were sounded at midnight to signify the elimination of troubles, in line with Buddhist tradition.

See how cities around the world welcomed the New Year

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