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Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012

Kazakh singer performs antinuclear tune in Hiroshima


HIROSHIMA — Popular Kazakh singer Roza Rymbayeva on Tuesday performed an antinuclear song in Hiroshima sung by demonstrators whose activities ultimately led to the 1991 closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in northeastern Kazakhstan.

A native of Semipalatinsk, now known as Semey, the 54-year-old artist sang "Zaman-ai" ("Oh Such Times") — a song widely known in nations that made up the former Soviet Union — at Peace Memorial Park as part of an event remembering the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Surrounded by participants holding candles, Rymbayeva sang the song, which includes the lyrics: "Struck by exploding light, stabbed by sharp rays, assailed by fierce blasts, our hearts are splintered into myriad shards."

The Soviet Union conducted nuclear tests more than 450 times for nearly 40 years through 1989 in Semey. Residents near the test site are said to have developed cancer, leukemia and other illnesses after being exposed to radiation.

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