DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday honored the victims of the American embassy bombings in East Africa in 1998 and told survivors that justice had been served with the killing of the attacks' suspected mastermind.
Just inside the main gate of the U.S. compound in the Tanzanian capital, she placed flowers at the foot of a large rock with the plaque listing victims' names. She said a silent prayer and spoke with three Tanzanian employees who were at the embassy when it, along with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi in neighboring Kenya, was bombed on Aug. 7, 1998.
"I know that there are those of you here today who were serving in the embassy on that awful occasion," Clinton said. "Some of you lost your friends and loved ones and all Americans grieved with you then and have not forgotten your losses."
Somali officials reported Saturday that soldiers earlier in the week had killed Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the al-Qaida operative who allegedly plotted the bombings.
"We also have not forgotten our pledge to seek justice against those who would commit such atrocities," Clinton said.
"Last month al-Qaida suffered a major setback with the death of Osama bin Laden and yesterday we received news of another significant blow," she said.
"I know nothing can replace those who have been taken from us by such senseless violence, but I know that justice was served and I hope that can give you some measure of comfort," Clinton said.
The attacks in Tanzania and Kenya killed 224 people, including 10 Tanzanians at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam. The embassy has since been relocated.
Most of the people killed in the attacks were Kenyans. Twelve Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi died.
Earlier Sunday, Clinton toured American-funded health, development and public works projects in and around the capital, receiving enthusiastic welcomes from audiences at the events.
Clinton visited a women's cooperative farm, where she planted a sweet pepper seedling. She was cheered by the female workers who will benefit from the Obama administration's plans to pump an additional $70 million into Tanzania's agriculture sector over the next two years under a food security initiative.
She was again hailed as a hero at a women's health clinic, where she said she watched with tears in her eyes a skit about domestic violence and how to prevent it. Clinton also announced $6.7 million to improve child nutrition and visited a thermal power plant that benefited from grants provided by the U.S.