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Hundreds gather at Hamama funeral

Hundreds of mourners have gathered at a mosque outside Cairo for the funeral of actress Faten Hamama, a pillar of Middle Eastern cinema who died a day earlier after a career that spanned seven decades and graced the golden age of Egyptian film-making.

Her passing drew condolences from across the film industry, and even the country's president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

The Ministry of Culture said Hamama, 84, died after a period of illness, and ordered a halt of all artistic work in the country for two days of mourning.

Images from outside the ceremony, which began after midday prayers, were broadcast live on private channel CBC.

Crowds blocked traffic in the area as mourners moved to the mosque entrance where Hamama's casket was carried aloft.

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