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Global Commemorations Mark Anniversary of September 11 Attacks


About 1,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan have marked the anniversary of the September 11 attacks with a memorial ten kilometer run.

The troops at Bagram Air Base donned their running shoes to commemorate the day eight years ago when nearly 3,000 people died in terrorist attacks against the U.S.

Meanwhile, world leaders are expressing sorrow and support.  In Russia, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said his country mourns the victims of September 11.  The Itar-Tass news agency quotes Mr. Putin as saying the anniversary is a reminder to all countries to set aside disputes and fight against the common threat of terrorism.

In Kyrgyzstan, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev noted his country's long-standing anti-terrorist efforts and its continuing readiness to fight against terrorist threats and challenges.  

Mr. Bakiyev spoke at Manas Airport, outside the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, where the United States operates a large air transit center in support of military operations in Afghanistan.

The United States and Kyrgyzstan signed an agreement two months ago to allow continued U.S. use of the Manas Airport, in return for upgraded facilities at the combined air base and commercial airport and increased rental payments by Washington.

In New York eight years ago on September 11, hijackers steered two large passenger jets into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, which later collapsed.  A third hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon (the central headquarters of the U.S. military), and a fourth commandeered plane is believed to have been bound for either the U.S. Capitol building or the White House.  That jet crashed in a farm field far from Washington - in Shanksville, Pennsylvania - after passengers fought hijackers for control of the plane.

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