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Obama honours Tanzania bombing victims

US leader ends Africa trip by commemorating those killed in 1998 bomb attack on US embassy in Dar es Salaam.

Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 19:34
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Obama (right) and Bush attended a ceremony at the new US embassy compound [AFP]

US President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W Bush have honoured the victims of the al-Qaeda bombing of the US embassy in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam 15 years ago.

Two men joined a ceremony and took a moment of silence at a memorial stone in the new embassy compound, honouring 11 Tanzanians killed and 85 Americans and Tanzanians wounded in the bombing on August 7, 1998.

Obama and his wife Michelle Obama crossed paths with Bush and his wife Laura, who were hosting the summit promoting the role of African first ladies in bringing change to their countries.

The actual site of the embassy bombing, which was carried out by al-Qaeda, is a few kilometres away from the new US compound.

The bombing in Dar es Salaam was timed to coincide with a separate attack on the US embassy in the Kenyan capital Nairobi that left 213 dead and several thousand wounded.

Inside Story - Obama in Africa: Too little, too late?

The ceremony came on the final day of Obama's three-nation Africa tour and while Bush was on the continent to promote humanitarian programs run by his policy centre.

Obama has advocated a stronger and more effective partnership with Africa during his trip, which also took him to Senegal and South Africa.

"Ultimately the goal here is for Africa to build Africa, for Africans," Obama said after talks with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete on Monday.

"And our job is to be a partner in that process, and Tanzania's been one of our best partners," he said, adding: "We are looking at a new model that's based not just on aid and assistance."

Throughout his Africa journey, Obama has implicitly touted US-style investment and partnership as superior to Beijing's own Africa push, arguing US firms do more to build local economic capacity.

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