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By Sarah Marsh and Diego Oré

SANTIAGO, Cuba The family of Fidel Castro began a ceremony on Sunday to inter the revolutionary leader’s ashes in the eastern city of Santiago, state media reported, while 600 miles (1,000 km) away in the capital of Havana a 21-gun salute echoed through the city.

Castro died on Nov. 25 aged 90, setting off nine days of official mourning scheduled to end on Sunday.

Official Cuban media at first reported the events would be carried live on television, but hours before the ceremony was due to take place reported that it would be “solemn and private”.

Video of the event would only be televised on delay, as Cuban television cut from live coverage at the appointed hour of 7 a.m. EST (1200 GMT).

At that moment in Havana, military cannons unleashed a 21-gun salute heard across the capital.

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Castro came to power in a 1959 revolution and built a Communist state on the doorstep of the United States.

He ruled for 49 years before stepping down a decade ago due to illness.

(Writing by Daniel Trotta; editing by Jason Neely)


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