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Friends, family pay tribute to slain British soldier Lee Rigby

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
July 12, 2013 -- Updated 1119 GMT (1919 HKT)
Lee Rigby was identified as the victim killed in a cleaver attack on May 22. He was a member of the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The brutal killing of Rigby shocked the United Kingdom, with Prime Minister David Cameron saying the act appears to have been a terrorist attack. Lee Rigby was identified as the victim killed in a cleaver attack on May 22. He was a member of the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The brutal killing of Rigby shocked the United Kingdom, with Prime Minister David Cameron saying the act appears to have been a terrorist attack.
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Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Photos: Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Photos: Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
Attack in Southeast London
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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

(CNN) -- 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's widow: I'm proud to be his wife

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

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.

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