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Davidian survivors to mark 20th anniversary

Friday, April 19, 2013
Fire engulfs the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, April 19, 1993. Eighty-one Davidians, including leader David Koresh, perished as federal agents tried to drive them out of the compound. A few weeks earlier four agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were slain in a shootout at the site, and six cult members were found dead inside. (AP Photo/Ron Heflin)

Fire engulfs the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, April 19, 1993. Eighty-one Davidians, including leader David Koresh, perished as federal agents tried to drive them out of the compound. A few weeks earlier four agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were slain in a shootout at the site, and six cult members were found dead inside. (AP Photo/Ron Heflin)

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Some who survived the fiery end to the 51-day standoff at the Branch Davidians' Central Texas compound are to gather for a memorial service on the 20th anniversary of the fire.

Survivors and others who see the events as an unwarranted government intrusion into personal and religious freedoms are to attend the service Friday at a Waco museum.

Federal agents raided the compound Feb. 28, 1993, trying to arrest sect leader David Koresh for stockpiling illegal weapons. But the group had been tipped off about the raid and a shootout ensued. Four agents and six Davidians were killed.

During the standoff, several women and children left the compound. But on April 19, nearly 80 sect members died when the compound burned after tear gas was fired into the building.
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