Funerals held for Virginia Tech victims

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Funerals took place in the US yesterday for many of the victims of last week's Virginia Tech college massacre.

Services to remember those killed in the tragedy came as the family of South Korean national Cho Seung-hui issued a statement expressing regret at his "unspeakable actions".

The 23-year-old English undergraduate shot dead 27 of his fellow students and five staff at the university in Blacksburg, Virginia last Monday, before turning his gun on himself.

Virginia state senator John Edwards was among around 800 mourners who gathered in a high school auditorium in the factory town of Narrows, some 30 miles from the campus, to remember 22-year-old engineering student Jarrett Lane, while around 100 members of the university's marching band gathered in Evans, Georgia to remember bandmate Ryan Clark.

Clark, also 22, was one of Cho's first victims, having been one of two students shot by the gunman in one of Virginia Tech's dormitories ahead of a later shooting on the same morning in which a further 30 people were killed on the campus.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the family of Daniel Patrick O'Neil ahead of a memorial service to remember him in Lincoln, Rhode Island, said that the 22-year-old environmental engineering student "lived life to its fullest".

"We know that his spirit and his influence on his friends will stay with them throughout their lives," the family said.

Almost a dozen funerals and memorial services for the Virginia Tech victims are reported to have taken place yesterday, with further ceremonies planned for tomorrow.

The university's sprawling campus was the scene of an earlier memorial service on Friday, which also marked the eighth anniversary of the Columbine high school massacre which saw 12 students and a teacher shot dead.

As the process of mourning the Virginia Tech victims continues so does the investigation into the shooting, with the authorities having now revealed that gunman Cho bought ammunition clips designed for one of the two handguns he used in the massacre on internet auction site eBay.

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