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Italy mourns those who died in quake

Around 200 victims of the earthquake that hit the Abruzzo region have been buried in an emotional ceremony in L'Aquila, worst hit by last Monday's disaster.

This content was published on April 10, 2009 - 18:58

Pope Benedict XVI called on survivors, many of them angry, to take courage and have hope.

Thousands of people attended the ceremony conducted by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the number two at the Vatican.

Among the 205 coffins, most covered in flowers and family photographs, were about 20 containing children and teenagers.

The pope told survivors that he felt "spiritually among them" and shared their anxiety.

A total of almost 300 people died as a result of the quake, the largest natural catastrophe in the country in 30 years.

The Swiss Red Cross Society said on Friday that the 200 tents it had sent to the area, about 100km northeast of Rome, were now fully occupied.

Each tent can house five people and is equipped with heating, beds and blankets.

swissinfo with agencies

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