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Ceremonies to be Held In Honor of Bali Bombing Victims, Sunday - 2003-10-11

Preparations are nearly complete for the commemoration event marking the anniversary of the Bali terrorist bombings. More than 200 people were killed in the bombings on October 12, 2002. The police are warning that terrorists are still active in Indonesia and that they are maintaining tight security across the island.

The ceremonies to honor the 202 people who died in the terrorist attacks will start with a multi-faith, open-air service on Sunday morning.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard will pay his respects to the 88 Australians who died when militants detonated a huge car bomb outside a crowded Balinese nightclub in a popular tourist area.

Most of those behind the bombing have been arrested, but General I Made Pastika, who is head of Bali's police force and the bombing's chief investigator, warned Saturday that terrorists still at large continue to pose a threat.

"The general situation is safe, is good, but we still have five people of the Bali suspects still outside. We also know that this group is still in the possession of the explosives, but our officers together with the community now we are in one hand to fight against them," General Pastika said.

The Indonesian police are running a special security operation, including posting 5,000 officers across the island and doubling the number of officers checking people arriving in Bali.

Almost 600 people, survivors and families of those who died, are expected to attend Sunday's ceremonies. After the service, a plaque bearing the names of the 202 dead will be placed near the site of the bombing.

Mr. Howard will dedicate a new intensive care unit at the hospital where many of the injured were treated after the attack.

Many of those traveling to Bali for the anniversary say they want to prove that the terrorists' attempts to impose their rigid views on others have failed.

Bali is slowly recovering from the attack. Tourism, the island's main industry, is improving despite travel warnings to Indonesia still posted by a number of countries including the United States, Australia and Britain.

Many people in Bali hope that the presence of Mr. Howard will go some way to reassuring potential visitors that the island is once again safe to visit.