ATLANTA BOMB: Leaders react

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The Independent Online
John Major condemned the bombing as a "desecration of the Olympic spirit".The Prime Minister was "horrified to hear of the explosion and of the deaths and injuries caused to innocent people enjoying the celebrations surrounding the Olympic Games".

Pope John Paul sent his condolences to relatives of the bomb victims, invoking "divine consolation and strength".

President Yeltsin's press secretary, Sergei Medvedev, said: "The president condemned this barbaric act, which is in fact a challenge to the whole world community. [It] has once again demonstrated the importance of uniting the efforts of all countries in the fight against terrorism."

French president Jacques Chirac sent a message of sympathy "and solidarity from the French people" and told President Clinton that this week's Paris summit on terrorism should seek new ways to confront such acts.

Chancellor Kohl of Germany described the bombing as a cowardly attack showing wanton disregard for life. "It will provoke horror among all civilised people," he said.

In America, Republican presidential hopeful Bob Dole asked for a moment of silent prayer "for the victims of this cowardly act". "We must make a very public pledge," he said. "We will find the perpetrators, we will stop them, we will punish them, and we will never surrender to their terror."

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