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Murdered British radio host laid to rest in Lebanon

Pallbearers carry the coffin of British radio host Gavin Ford at Mar Sassine Church in Beit Meri, east of Lebanon's capital Beirut, on December 2, 2018

Beit Meri (Lebanon) (AFP)

British radio presenter Gavin Ford was laid to rest Sunday near Beirut in a ceremony that brought together dozens of fans, friends and family members days after his murder.

Ford's lifeless body was discovered Tuesday at his home in Beit Meri, a mountain town east of the capital where his employer Radio One is also based.

Ford had worked since the 1990s at the station, where hosted one of Lebanon's most popular shows.

A ceremony was held Sunday at Beit Meri's Mar Sassine Church before the funeral procession proceeded to a vault where his coffin was interred, an AFP photographer said.

It was unclear whether Ford's burial in Lebanon was temporary, and AFP could not immediately reach relatives to clarify if his body would be brought back to Britain at a later date.

Relatives of the star were among the black-clad mourners in Beit Meri carrying funeral pamphlets bearing Ford's photo.

They, along with close friends, were allowed to approach the casket to pay final respects.

Lebanese security forces on Thursday said they had arrested two men who confessed in interrogations to killing Ford during an attempt to rob his home.

"They admitted to committing murder and said they went on Monday afternoon to the home of the victim to steal," a statement said, adding the two were Syrian.

Ford's murder sparked widespread shock in Lebanon.

Such crime is rare in Beirut, a city largely considered safe, including for tourists and foreign residents.

After arriving in the eastern Mediterranean country in the mid-1990s, the British presenter carved out a leading position in Lebanon's media landscape with his morning show "Gavin Ford in the Morning".

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