Hiroshima: Japan marks 70 years since atomic bomb hit

Services have been held in Hiroshima to mark 70 years since an atomic bomb destroyed the city.

Some 70,000 people were killed instantly in the city when the US bomber Enola Gay dropped the world's first atomic bomb on August 6th 1945.

The death toll would later rise to 140,000.

Japan surrendered soon after a second bomb targeted Nagasaki, bringing an end to the Second World War.

The country's prime minister Shinzo Abe was joined by US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy for a prayer service in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Children also staged a "die-in" in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome, one of the only structures left standing when the bomb hit.

Thousands of paper lanterns will be released on the Motoyasu River later on to symbolise victims' journey to the afterlife.

Children perform a die-in in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima. Credit: Reuters
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Credit: Reuters
Buddhist monks walks past the Atomic Bomb Dome. Credit: Reuters
A man prays in front of the cenotaph commemorating the victims. Credit: Reuters
Local residents hold paper lanterns. Credit: Reuters
Mother and her daughter pray during the commemorations. Credit: Reuters
A woman kneels beside the cenotaph. Credit: Reuters
A woman cries as she prays for the atomic bomb victims. Credit: Reuters