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China's Sichuan mourns quake dead one week later

BEIJING (AFP) - China's south-western Sichuan province stopped on Saturday to mourn the victims of a deadly earthquake that struck exactly a week ago, state media reported.

The public mourning began with the sound of sirens at 8:02 am, the moment the tremor struck, followed by three minutes of silent remembrance, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

CCTV state television showed footage of mourners bowing in remembrance at one ceremony held in front of a black and white banner printed with words of condolence.

The quake, measured by the US Geological Survey at magnitude 6.6, has killed 196 people, left 21 missing, and injured more than 13,000, according to state media.

Rescue teams have been hampered by blocked roads caused by landslides and traffic congestion in their hunt for survivors in the quake-prone province.

State media reported on Thursday that a 78-year-old man was rescued five days after the earthquake hit.

The disaster comes five years after a massive quake in the same province that left 90,000 people dead or missing.