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Security Prep Underway for Sihanouk Funeral Procession

The royal funeral convoys are prepared ahead of the funeral procession for Cambodia's late King Norodom Sihanouk Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The body of Sihanouk who died on Oct. 15, 2012 at age 89 is scheduled to be cremated on Feb. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
PHNOM PENH - Funeral procession ceremonies begin Friday for former king Norodom Sihanouk, whose body will be cremated on Feb. 4.

Up to 1 million people are expected to throng the streets of Phnom Penh to mourn the former monarch, known to many as “King Father,” who died following a heart attack in Beijing in October.

Officials say some 1,100 security forces will be deployed for the funeral procession and other ceremonies, with some streets in the capital forced closed.

Nhiek Bunchay, a royalist lawmaker who is deputy commissioner for the funeral, said security will ensure the procession proceeds smoothly.

“We’ve tightened security, because we don’t want something to happen on that day,” he said.

City officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The funeral procession, which begins Friday, will include 4,000 police, military personnel, public servants, lawmakers, ministers and other officials.

The prime ministers of China and Thailand and other world leaders are also expected to attend the cremation ceremonies.

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