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Ireland Calls For EU-Wide Moment of Silence For Madrid Victims - 2004-03-13


The current president of the European Union has called for citizens across the bloc to observe three minutes of silence next week for the victims of Thursday's Madrid train bombings.

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, whose country currently holds the rotating European Union presidency, urged citizens of the 15-nation E.U. to join the commemoration at noon Spanish time Monday (11 hundred Universal Time).

In Washington, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the United States has offered Spain all possible assistance in the investigation of the attack. He noted that some U.S. investigators are on the scene helping with the probe.

Earlier Friday in Bangkok, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the bombings would strengthen the world's resolve to combat terror. Currently on a 10-day Asian tour to discuss cooperation in the war on terrorism, he said the savagery and inhumanity of the Madrid attacks will only serve to reinforce that global fight.

Mr. Ridge would not speculate on whether the al-Qaida terrorist network had a hand in Thursday's bombings.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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