Australia mourns bushfire victims

February 22nd, 2009 - 8:22 am ICT by IANS  

Canberra, Feb 22 (Xinhua) Tens of thousands of Australians have converged on Melbourne Sunday for the national day of mourning following Victoria’s deadly bushfires.
Victorian Premier John Brumby said Sunday the event would be a “magnificent opportunity for Victorians and Australians to come together”.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, British Princess Anne and Maltese President Eddie Fenech-Adami are expected to attend the ceremony. Hundreds of survivors have been shuttled from fire-ravaged rural towns to join the event.

At least 209 people were killed in the massive bushfire starting from Feb 7. Firemen continue to battle fresh blazes and some bodies are still to be found.

The service will be broadcast live on television and radio around Australia, while a bushfire appeal concert will also be held later on Sunday at the Sydney Opera House.

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