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Friends, family pay tribute to slain British soldier Lee Rigby

Story highlights

  • Family and friends attend a military funeral service held for slain soldier Lee Rigby
  • His commanding officer pays tribute to his charisma and courage
  • Rigby was killed in a daylight attack in southeast London

Family and friends attended a military funeral Friday to pay tribute to Lee Rigby, the British soldier killed in an attack in southeast London in May.

Crowds gathered outside Bury Parish Church, near Manchester, and lined streets nearby to listen as the service was relayed by loudspeaker.

Rigby's commanding officer, Lt. Col. Jim Taylor of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, described the 25-year-old as a man who was "truly charismatic" and "larger than life."

Rigby had fulfilled a lifelong ambition to be a soldier and served with enthusiasm and courage, he said.

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The service was to be followed by a private family burial.

Rigby was killed in a daylight attack on May 22 near the Woolwich barracks where he was based.

Two men, Michael Adebowale, 22, and Michael Adebolajo, 28, are accused of his murder.

A preliminary trial date has been set for November.