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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

International Wrap

Aired September 11, 2002 - 05:43   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We want to turn our attention to international news and overseas. Many U.S. embassies are closed down throughout the world because of terror alerts.
Eli Flournoy, our international editor, joins us now to tell us more about that and also some ceremonies in some I guess unlikely places, like Tanzania, a ceremony...

ELI FLOURNOY, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL EDITOR: Right.

COSTELLO: ... commemorating 9/11.

FLOURNOY: Right. It's remarkable, across the world there are commemoration ceremonies, even in places like Iran, traditionally one of Bush's axis of evil, there are statements going on.

COSTELLO: There's a ceremony in Iran?

FLOURNOY: Yes. And we've just had some information cross in on the wire about statements that were coming up from the Iranian government in solidarity with the American people and victims of 9/11 tragedies.

And one place that takes us back to the first -- when we were first hearing about Osama bin Laden is in Tanzania and Dar Es Salaam. You mentioned this was the site in 1998 of one of the embassy bombings, the other one being in Nairobi, Kenya. And they earlier today held a ceremony, 9/11, to commemorate the victims of 9/11 and also to commemorate the victims of that bombing attack.

And I'd like to -- I'd like to bring in Seema Mathur who is a journalist who has worked here with us on the international desk and CNN and she is in Tanzania and attended the ceremony earlier.

Seema, are you there on the phone?

SEEMA MATHUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I'm here. And actually I'm at the temporary embassy, and acts as a temporary embassy because the new embassy after the bombing is still under construction, almost complete but not yet.

And when you mention the similarities, not only is this bombing also blamed on al Qaeda and being one of the first, but another similarity that I noticed this morning with some of the people is just the human suffering. I talked to one victim who was hurt terribly. She was eight months pregnant at the time of the bombing, fortunately her baby was fine, but she said to me you know that she has learned to just really appreciate the moments in life after this. It's been four years now and those are similar sentiments that we're hearing from New York as well, victims of family members and really people all across America just learning to appreciate the moment. So we're starting to see a lot of similarities all around the world.

FLOURNOY: And, Seema, how is the feeling amongst people in Tanzania, a mainly Muslim country, towards Americans and the American government? Is there a difference there?

MATHUR: That's very interesting because the Muslim population in Tanzania is about 50 percent of the population. Of that, 20 percent are what is known as the very extremist fundamental group called the Wahabi Muslims. The other Muslims in the community tell me that these are the extreme Muslims that subscribe to the type of philosophy that would want to do any kind of retaliation as we saw in these terrorist attacks. But the rest of the Muslims here, while they are not completely satisfied with certain American foreign policy, they like American and they like Americans and they like democracy. So they want to make that very clear.

And what they're hoping for is that the U.S. government would -- will make it clear that it's just one sect of Muslims that are extremists and not Muslims all over -- all over the world. Like you said, there is Muslims in Iran that were -- that were also sending their condolences because many Muslims do want the type of democracy that we have in the United States.

FLOURNOY: Great. Seema, thanks very much. Seema Mathur reporting there from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Interesting stuff. Thank you, Eli, I know you have a lot to do this morning so we'll let you get back to work.

FLOURNOY: OK.

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