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U.S. marks 17th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

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Americans are commemorating September 11 with sombre tributes, volunteer projects and a new monument to victims, after a year when two attacks demonstrated the enduring threat to the nation’s biggest city.

Thousands have gathered in New York City, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday to remember the nearly 3,000 people killed when hijacked jetliners crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

In New York City, a ceremony will take place at the 9/11 Memorial, where mourners gather as they have every year since the attack, for the annual reading of victims’ names from both the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.

They will also observe a citywide moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower, with a second pause at 9:03 a.m. when United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower.

Further moments of silence will be observed at 9:37 a.m., when American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon; at 9:59 a.m. when the South Tower fell; at 10:03 a.m. when United Flight 93 hit the ground near Shanksville, Pennsylvania; and at 10:28 a.m., when the North Tower collapsed.

Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the suicide attacks and a U.S.-led war in Afghanistan followed.

U.S. forces killed bin Laden in May 2011 in a surprise raid on his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan, ending a nearly 10-year hunt for the al Qaeda leader.

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