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In Cambodia thousands of people have turned out for the first of a four-day state funeral for the revered King Norodom Sihanouk.

The ceremony began with a royal procession where the King’s remains, encased in a golden ark, were brought out of the royal palace. It was then transported to a float and paraded along the capital’s main streets.

Sihanouk was 89 years old when he died of a heart attack in Beijing last year.

He had twice served as prime minister and was king twice before abdicating in 2004 in favour of his ballet-dancing son King Norodom Sihamoni, who is widely regarded as having ascended the throne reluctantly.

The procession will end in an area next to the Royal Palace where a cremation site has been established. The body of the former King will remain there for three days until its cremation on Monday.

Several heads of state and other foreign dignitaries are expected to attend.

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