State funeral for Italy's mudslide victims

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State funeral for Italy's mudslide victims

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A state funeral has taken place for some of the people killed by last week’s mudslides in southern Italy.

Twenty-one of the 28 known victims were honoured in a moving ceremony at Messina cathedral. At least seven people are still missing feared dead while more than 500 others have been left homeless. Dozens of houses on the outskirts of the Sicilian city were swept away or flattened by heavy rain last Friday. It sparked a row over protection measures against flooding with local officials accusing the government of ignoring their appeals for funds. But the head of the rescue services blamed shoddy building for the disaster, saying too many houses had been built too close to rivers and the seafront in an area hit by landslides two years ago.