|Russia Shuts Red Square Amid Security Fears Moscow Subway|
The cobbled square normally throngs with tourists eager to have their photographs taken against a backdrop of the Kremlin's red brick walls, the granite mausoleum housing the mummified body of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin or the ornate onion domes of St Basil's cathedral. But Thursday tourists, many from as far away as Japan and the United States, stared glumly over the barrier leading into the square, craning to get a glimpse of Lenin's tomb.
Some questioned the point of shutting the square.
"If someone wants to do something bad, they will always find a way. Where's the sense in closing a square, they should work on security before things happen, not after," said Matjaz Oysterlek, a tourist from Slovenia in Moscow with his family.
And street traders said the ban was hitting them hard. Nikolai, 64, a photographer who normally takes pictures of tourists in front of the domes of St Basil's Cathedral, said the summer months were normally his best time for making money.
"They have closed my workplace, I am losing a lot of money," he said, declining to give his surname.
"People come to Moscow to see Red Square and the Kremlin, but now they just get to stand here and look at the gates."
Security has been tight across Moscow since the attacks.
Police said they found a guerrilla training base outside Moscow
last week, and have been even more vigilant than usual in
checking documents of pedestrians or users of public transport.
Jul 16, 2003
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