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Australians - "resilience, ingenuity, courage and selflessness"

A national service commemorated the 209 people who died in the firestorms which swept Victoria earlier this month, "leaving more than 7,000 people homeless and wiping some towns off the map. Kevin Rudd, the prime minister, said victims had suffered terribly, but vowed the country would rebuild as he paid tribute to a 'new army of heroes' who had fought the fires, saving hundreds of lives.

"The Princess Royal, who flew to Australia for the occasion, represented the Queen at the service. She said Australians had shown 'resilience, ingenuity, courage and selflessness to situations that were changing at terrifying speed'. The Princess will tour the regions ravaged by the bushfires. . ."

Four major fires are still burning.

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