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Michelle Obama to attend funeral of slain Chicago girl

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - First lady Michelle Obama will attend the funeral in Chicago on Saturday of a 15-year-old girl who was shot to death eight days after performing with her high school band at President Barack Obama's inauguration.

Hadiya Pendleton, a majorette in her school band, was fatally shot on January 29 as she and her friends were shielding themselves from rain under a canopy in a Chicago park. Chicago has been plagued by gun violence and her killing has become a rallying cry for those calling for stronger gun controls.

Police have called it a case of mistaken identity and are offering a $40,000 reward for information leading to her killer.

A White House official said the first lady would be accompanied at the funeral service by senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Obama is not expected to speak at the service. Her husband has proposed a series of recommendations aimed at tightening gun regulations after the December shootings of 20 students and six educators at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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