HIROSHIMA (Web Desk) – Thousands bowed their heads in prayers and tolled bells in Japan as it marked 70th anniversary of world’s first atomic bombing in Hiroshima

At 8:15 a.m. Thursday (2315 GMT), the exact time the bomb exploded on Aug. 6, 1945, the crowd stood for a moment of silence in the heavy summer heat while cicadas shrilled, the Peace Bell rang and hundreds of doves were released into the sky.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, while addressing a gathering, urged that nuclear weapons be abolished and demanded the creation of security systems that do not rely on military might.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe also called for abolishing nuclear weapons in a speech at central ceremony.

In August 1945 United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which killed at least 129,000 people during World War II.