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Hometown Lays Mandela to Rest

South African icon buried in Qunu amid fanfare, tears
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2013 6:03 AM CST
Hometown Lays Mandela to Rest
Three helicopters fly over the grave site during the burial of former South African President Nelson Mandela in his hometown Qunu, South Africa, Sunday Dec. 15, 2013.    (Peter Dejong)

(Newser) – South Africa has laid Nelson Mandela to rest in the gentle hills where he began his "long walk to freedom," burying the anti-apartheid icon in his hometown of Qunu as military jets and helicopters flew overhead in tribute. Some 4,500 people, including many foreign dignitaries, attended a state funeral that included songs, speeches, and many traditions of the Xhosa people, to which Mandela's Thembu clan belongs. The event was televised, showing Mandela's casket graveside, notes the AP, before cameras were shut off at the behest of the Mandela family. His body arrived in Qunu yesterday. (Read more Nelson Mandela stories.)

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