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March 11th is the European Day of Victims of Terrorism
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ImageEurope today is observing the Day of Victims of Terrorism. Thisday commemorates over 5,000 people who were victims of terrorist attacks that occurred in the European Union.
In his speech before the European Parliament (EP), EP chairman Jerzy Buzek noted: terrorists have declared war against the civilian population and carry, out their acts in places where people used to feel safe. Thisis shameful, deceitful and cowardly. Thisis why terrorism can never be justified.
According to European Commissioner for Internal Affairs Cecilia Malmström, the threat of terrorism in the European Union is real, and therefore the efforts of EU member states should focus on preventing new terrorist attacks.
An important aspect of this work is combating the radicalization that is conducive to terrorism. Thishas been defined as one of the key objectives of the European strategy of internal security. Theissues of radicalization can only be solved together with local communities. Inthis regard, this year we will set up a system of radicalization prevention and prophylaxis among vulnerable populations, said C.Malmström.
The decision to declare March 11th a pan-European day of remembrance for victims of terrorism was adopted in memory of victims of the Madrid terrorist attack. EPPresident Pat Cox expressed indignation at acts of terrorism, as well as his deep sympathy for the citizens of Spain and all Europeans in connection with the numerous victims of the blasts that took place in Madrid on March 11th, 2004. Ina communiqué, P.Cox noted that terrorism is a “malignant tumor, and requires a joint response.”
Earlier it had been planned to declare September 11th as the day of remembrance, but the Madrid bombings prompted the EP to declare it to be March 11th. Early in the morning on this day in 2004, six massive explosions rocked the Spanish capital. Asa result of the terrorist attacks, over 200people were killed, and about 700injured. Sixof thirteen hidden bombs went off at 45minute intervals during rush hour, between 7:35 and 7:55 in the morning local time (9:359:55 am Moscow time). Theexplosions took place on a high-speed train at the Atocha railway station on the outskirts of Madrid, as well as on two commuter trains in the capital by the Santa Eugenia and El Pozo del Tio Raimundo stations. Thebombs were hidden in backpacks and bags, and placed on luggage racks on the three trains. Itwas the largest terrorist attack in Spain in the last 30years. Al-Qaeda involvement in the terrorist attacks was proven, despite attempts during the early days after the attacks to blame the Basque ETA organization.
On July 3rd, 2005, residents of London became victims of Islamic terrorists after bombings on the underground in the British capital. Onthe anniversary of the attack, an international conference on problems of terrorism took place in Brussels.

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