Thousands mourn Love Parade victims in Germany
Thousands of people gathered in the German city of Duisburg on Saturday to pay their respects to the 21 people who died in the Love Parade tragedy a week earlier.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Christian Wulff were among several hundred mourners due at a church service from 0900 GMT held beamed to thousands of others watching on big screens in and around Duisburg's football stadium.
Before the service church bells were due to ring out across the city, where flags were at half-mast, organisers said. Later on Saturday thousands of people planned to take part in a march through the city centre, police said.
One person expected to be absent from public view however was Adolf Sauerland, Duisburg's mayor, who has come under intense pressure to resign amid growing anger at last Saturday's disaster.
The victims were crushed to death in a stampede as they desperately tried to escape a narrow tunnel that served as the only entrance to the grounds hosting the techno music festival. More than 500 people were hurt.
An interim police report on Wednesday put the blame on Love Parade organisers, listing a catalogue of catastrophic mistakes in managing the crowd of hundreds of thousands.
© 2010 AFP