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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 September 2005, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
Thousands at US soldier funeral
Hatim Kathiria's coffin in Gujarat
Thousands threw flowers and sang Islamic hymns
Thousands of mourners have attended the funeral in India's Gujarat state of an Indian-born US soldier killed in Iraq.

Hatim Kathiria, a 23-year-old Muslim, who died in a rocket attack in Baghdad on 22 August, was buried in his home town of Dahod.

He went to the US in 2003 and joined the army the next year.

His mother, Shirin, said: "He was my only son. His ambitions took him to the US and then to Iraq. We lost him, but he died a martyr's death."

Second death

Crowds threw flowers and sang Islamic hymns on the streets of the Muslim-dominated town.

Michael Owen, US consul general in Mumbai (Bombay), who attended the funeral, said: "His services have been recognised by the US armed forces and the family will be provided support."

Mr Kathiria's father, Siraj, said: "I have no regrets of my son joining the US army.

"He planned to work as a soldier for four years and then get back to academics. The Almighty had other plans."

Mr Kathiria is the second Indian-born soldier killed in Iraq.

Sergeant Uday Singh from Punjab state was killed by insurgents in Baghdad last December.


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