Obama, Bush Brought Together In Africa At Embassy Bomb Memorial

Obama, Bush Brought Together In Africa At Embassy Bomb Memorial

President Barack Obama and his predecessor George Bush stood side-by-side in Tanzania, today to commemorate the victims of the al Qaeda bombing of the U.S. Embassy 15 years ago.

The two men bowed their heads in silence at a memorial stone in the new embassy compound in Dar es Salaam to the 10 Tanzanians killed and 85 Americans and Tanzanians wounded in the bombing on August 7, 1998.

They then briefly spoke to survivors, Reuters reports. But there was little personal interaction between the two men.

The ceremony took place at a time when the United States is stepping up its role in the fight against Islamist militants in Africa.

Washington supports African forces in stabilising Somalia and Mali, deploys dozens of training teams to African nations, provides intelligence and has struck at militants with drones.

With up to 5,000 personnel on the ground, the United States has more troops in Africa now than at any point since its Somalia intervention two decades ago.

On the same day as the Tanzanian attack, al Qaeda also bombed the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. Those assaults proved a precursor to the September 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on U.S. cities and the subsequent U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq ordered by Bush.

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