Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, Marine killed in Kabul bombing, honored with procession Friday

ONTARIO, Calif. (KABC) -- Thousands of people lined the streets of Norco Friday to pay tribute to Karem Nakoui, a Marine killed in the Kabul bombing as his remains were returned home for their final resting place.

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Grant Nikoui, 20, of Norco died Aug. 26 in the terrorist attack at Kabul Airport that also claimed the lives of 10 of his fellow Marines, a U.S. Navy corpsman and a U.S. Army soldier, with more than 100 Afghans slain.

A "Fallen Hero Procession" was held to escort Nikoui's remains in a flag-draped coffin from the Ontario International Airport to Crestlawn Mortuary in Riverside. A funeral is planned for Saturday.

Another Riverside County resident, 22-year-old Marine Cpl. Hunter Lopez of Indio, also died in the blast. Three days of memorial services for Lopez began Thursday in the Coachella Valley, where he grew up.

Remembrance ceremonies to continue for Cpl. Hunter Lopez, local Marine killed in Afghanistan
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More remembrance ceremonies will be held in Riverside County for Cpl. Hunter Lopez, one of the local Marines killed in the Kabul airport attack during the evacuation of Afghanistan.

Many who lined the streets did not know Nikoui, but simply wanted to pay their respects and honor his sacrifice.

"I've seen pictures and it's beautiful and sad at the same time," said one woman who was on the procession route.

Some also expressed anger and outrage at the attack.

"It really hurts," said one man, a veteran who lined the procession route. "I put 33 years in the military and nothing ever happened to me. And you get these young kids who try to protect our country and look what happened to them. It's a shame."

Nikoui was among the contingent providing security during the accelerated withdrawal of U.S. military personnel from Afghanistan, resulting in the Taliban retaking the country.

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