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Revellers brave the weather to welcome 2009

Tens of thousands of revellers converged on major Swiss cities overnight to celebrate the New Year.

Around 170,000 people braved freezing temperatures and snowy roads to watch an annual firework display at Zurich's lakeside.

In Geneva, a festival of music attracted 20,000 people to the old city. However a day of heavy, wet snow had resulted in dangerous driving conditions and led to numerous car crashes, Geneva police said.

In the capital, Bern, hundreds of people gathered outside parliament to count down to midnight and try ice skating at a large outdoor rink that has been installed for the month of January.

Police said there were no major incidents of note, however, in Basel a lone firework started a fire in a building that then had to be evacuated.


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