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Tories ask Olympics to mark Munich massacre

06/13/2012 10:03 EDT | Updated 08/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is adding his voice to calls for the 2012 Summer Olympics to mark the anniversary of an attack on Israel's 1972 team that ended with 11 athletes dead.

The International Olympic Committee last month denied request from Israel to hold a special tribute to the athletes at the London Games, 40 years after the attack. The country suggested a minute of silence at the opening of the games, but the IOC turned down the idea.

Baird and Bal Gosal, minister of state for amateur sport, wrote a letter June 7 to IOC President Jacques Rogge to protest that decision.

"This terrorist attack targeted not only Israel, but the spirit and goals of the Olympic movement," they wrote in the letter.

"Given the impact of this tragedy, on the Olympic community as a whole and the world, it should be marked publicly as part of the official opening ceremony of the games, not just by the Israeli delegation."

The Olympics hosted in Munich, Germany, were scarred when Palestinian extremists from the group Black September stormed the Israeli compound, killing two athletes and taking nine others hostage. The nine hostages, five kidnappers and one police officer were killed in a shoot-out.

The IOC said last month that the Israeli Olympic team always marks the killing and hostage-taking with a reception, and that Rogge would attend.

Baird and Gosal urged Rogge to reconsider the decision not to include a minute of silence in the opening ceremony "given the gravity of the events that took place in Munich in 1972."

"Canada strongly supports Israel's request," they wrote.

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