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World – Obama honours Charleston victims

American President Barack Obama today delivered a eulogy in Charleston for his friend, the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who was shot dead with eight others last week.

“When Pinckney walked into a room, it was like the future arrived. From a young age, folks knew he was special,” Obama said.

The attack on a bible study group at a historic African-American church is thought to be racially motivated.

Thousands were in attendance at the South Carolina funeral.

President Barack Obama delivering the eulogy at today's funeral.

President Barack Obama delivering the eulogy at today’s funeral.

The tragedy has reignited debate about race relations and sparked a backlash against the Confederate flag.

Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old suspected gunman in custody, has been photographed holding the flag.

The president was accompanied in Charleston by first lady Michelle Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife Jill.

Former secretary of state and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was in attendance as well.

“We miss his priceless spirit, but I am convinced it will live on,” one pastor said at the service.

Mother Emanuel AME Church’s ministerial staff gave their condolences to his family during the service, which they called a “joyous celebration of a life well lived”.

The first two funerals, for Ethel Lance and Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, were held on Thursday.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and the Reverend Al Sharpton were in attendance.

Source: (BBC)

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