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South Africa pays a final tribute to Mandela

QUNU, South Africa (AP) - Anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela has been buried in the African ground he loved.

His casket was lowered into the earth after military jets and helicopters with South African flags displayed flew over the pallbearers.

Government spokesman Phumla Williams said Sunday the ceremony, which was concluded with TV cameras turned off, has ended.

South African television showed Mandela's casket at the family gravesite. The broadcasting was stopped at the request of the Mandela family.

The burial took place among the rolling hills of Qunu, the village in eastern South Africa where Mandela grew up and where he was taken for burial in an elaborate ceremony Sunday.

A tribal chief draped in animal skin declared: "A great tree has fallen." His was among the speeches, songs and the boom of artillery in honor of the man who reconciled the country following the end of apartheid.


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