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Wife, 50 friends at ex-spy funeral

Story Highlights

• NEW: Funeral of murdered ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko is held in London
• Radioactive traces reportedly found in British embassy in Moscow
• British police say case now a murder inquiry
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LONDON, England -- The funeral of the poisoned Russian former spy Alexander Litvinenko was held at Highgate Cemetery in north London -- the burial place of the founder of communism, Karl Marx.

Close to 50 of Litvinenko's closest family and friends, including his wife and young son, gathered for the private service at Highgate's West Cemetery.

The hearse carrying Litvinenko's coffin arrived in the cemetery's forecourt just after 1.30 p.m. (Watch Litvinenko's specially lined coffin be carried to the gravesite Video)

Mourners gathered in the courtyard between the cemetery's former chapel, now its offices, and the cemetery's colonnade.

Litvinenko's coffin, a dark-stained Jacobean oak Garratt casket, was due to be driven around the perimeter of the cemetery before being laid to rest at the burial site in a non-denominational service, the UK's Press Association reported.

Litvinenko's wife Marina and their 12-year-old son Anatoly were among the mourners, PA said.

Litvinenko's father Valter, his mother Nina Belyavskaya and his first wife Natalia were also at the ceremony.

Many of Litvinenko's closest friends were attending the service, including Alex Goldfarb, the exiled Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky, the filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov and the Chechen dissident Akhmed Zakayev.

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