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Terror blitz on America

Terrorists on suicide missions crashed two hijacked jet airliners into the 110 storey World Trade Centre in New York within minutes of each other today, killing at least six people and injuring 1,000.

Then an aircraft crashed into the Pentagon, the US Defence Department's HQ in Washington, and the White House was evacuated after the Security Service received a "credible threat" against the president's official home.

The State Department was also evacuated.

All airports in the US were closed and Wall Street shut down.

One of the planes that crashed into the Trade Centre was an American Airlines Boeing 767 that was hijacked after taking off from Boston.

President George Bush, in Florida, said: "We have had a national tragedy. Two aeroplanes have crashed into the World Trade Centre in an apparent terrorist attack on our country." Witnesses were just describing the horror of the first impact when, 18 minutes later, another passenger plane crashed into one of the twin towers that dominate the New York business quarter's skyline.

CNN had video footage of the second crash.

The towers were struck by bombers in February 1993.

"The plane was coming in low and it looked like it hit at a slight angle," said Sean Murtagh, a CNN vice president.

Large holes were visible in sides of the 110 storey buildings, landmark twin towers.

The tops o the twin towers were obscured by the smoke.

Thousands of pieces of what appeared to be office paper came drifting over Brooklyn, about three miles from the tower, one witness said.

An eyewitness said the first plane appeared to hit one of the skyscraper's twin towers about 20 floors from the top.

He said he thought the plane was still embedded in the smashed and burning building.

Another he said it appeared that the first plane lined up on the tower before crashing.

Jeanne Yurman, told CNN she was watching TV when she heard what she thought was a sonic boom. "I thought it was Concorde," she said.

The centre bombing in February 1993, killing six people and injured more than 1,000 others.

In 1945, an Army Air Corps B-25, a twin-engine bomber, crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building in dense fog.

Both planes, twin engined small jet liners, remained embedded in one of the twin towers with smoke and flames pouring out of the gaping holes.

TV reported that at least six people were killed CNBC television said there were at least a thousand injured.

President Bush was in Sarasota, Florida, reading to children in a classroom full of children, when his chief of staff, Andrew Card, whispered into his ear.

The president briefly turned sombre before he resumed reading.

Before flying back to Washington for an emergency meeting of the National Security Council he ordered all resources go to help the victims and "hunt down and find those folks who committed this act..

"Terrorism against this nation will not stand."

Abu Dhabi television reported it had received a call from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claiming responsibility for crashing two planes into the WTC buildings. But a DFLP denied it carried out the acts.

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