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Funeral for Sikh shooting victims


Funeral service in Wisconsin

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Images of the victims were projected on a giant screen as mourners paid their respects

Thousands of people, including mourners from abroad, have turned out for the funerals of six victims of a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

US Attorney General Eric Holder is due to make an address at the wake and visit a local high school.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was at the ceremony and congressman Paul Ryan was also expected to attend.

A US Army veteran with ties to white-power groups opened fire as worshippers prepared for a service last Sunday.

Three others who were critically wounded in the attack are still being treated in hospital.

Governor Walker told the grievers they were not alone, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Wearing an orange head scarf, and his voice full of emotion, he said: “Today, we mourn with you, we pray with you and we support you.

“As Americans, we are one, and when you attack one of us, you attack all of us.”

The funeral service included hymns and prayers, and afterwards, mourners plan to return to the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, the scene of the attack in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek.

Priests will begin a process known as Akhand Path – a reading of the entire Sikh holy book – in a tradition to honour the dead. It is expected to take about 48 hours.

“We want to pay homage to the spirits who are still in there,” said Harpreet Singh, the nephew of one of the victims.

The victims were five men and a woman, ranging in age from 39 to 84. Two other temple members and a police officer were wounded.

Police Lt Brian Murphy’s condition was upgraded to satisfactory on Thursday.

The gunman, Wade Michael Page, 40, was killed during the attack. A police officer shot him in the stomach before Page fatally shot himself in the head, according to the FBI.

Police investigators say they are still trying to establish a motive for the killing spree.

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