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L'Aquila marks earthquake anniversary

A banner reads 'We want our city back' in L'Aquila, 21 March 2010
Residents have been demonstrating against the city's continued closure
The Italian city of L'Aquila is holding a series of events to mark the first anniversary of the earthquake that killed 300 and left 60,000 homeless.
The commemorations for Europe's biggest post-war natural disaster include night time vigils and a musical requiem.
The night's events include a pause for reflection at 0332 (0132 GMT) - the exact moment the earthquake struck.
The 6.2 magnitude quake devastated the centre of the medieval city and surrounding villages.

The original rescue and recovery operation was widely praised, with most people soon put into temporary accommodation, says BBC correspondent Duncan Kennedy.
Most of those made homeless have since been rehoused in temporary accommodation.
But the centre of L'Aquila remains off limits as the buildings are unsafe.
That situation, our correspondent says, has lead to frustrations for thousands of people who've been staging demonstrations with wheelbarrows, a symbol, they say, of their desire to clear the city of its rubble and bring it back to life.
Mayor Massimo Cialente has been strongly criticised by some residents.
"The city is still stuck, emptied of its inhabitants," one local campaigner, Anna Colasanto, told the AFP news agency.
The authorities say it could take up to 10 years for life to return to normal.



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