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Italy observes moment of silence

ROME (AP) — Italy has observed a minute of silence and flown its flags at half-staff in a collective, nationwide gesture to honor the victims of the coronavirus and their families.

The Vatican also lowered its flags Tuesday to honor the dead in the country with the greatest toll from the virus, which stands at more than 11,500.

The noon minute of silence was observed in cities and towns around the country.

The office of Premier Giuseppe Conte said the gesture was a sign of national mourning and solidarity with the victims, their families “and as a sign of collective participation in mourning with the hardest-hit communities.”

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