The Straits Times
Published on Oct 13, 2012

Australian PM visits Bali bombings 'ground zero'


KUTA (AFP) - Australia's prime minister, Ms Julia Gillard, paid her respects on Saturday to the 202 people who perished a decade ago in the Bali nightclub bombings, visiting a commemorative stone monument on the resort island now covered in flowers, flags and victims' photos.

Friends and families of the dead - many from Australia, which lost 88 citizens in the blasts - have for the past week left tokens of their grief, some breaking down in tears, others looking for closure to an event that changed their lives.

"This has been a very emotional 24 hours in Bali," Ms Gillard told reporters after visiting the monument, which stands across from the old Sari Club that Islamists attacked, together with Paddy's Bar, on October 12, 2002, bringing carnage to Kuta's party strip.

"This is time for us to mark a nation-changing event," she said.