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Obama praises Mandela

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DAKAR, Senegal (KNOE 8 News/AP) - President Barack Obama says Nelson Mandela, the critically ill former South African president, is a hero for the world. He says Mandela's legacy will linger through the ages.

Mandela, 94, has been hospitalized since June 8 for what the South African government said was a recurring lung infection.

Obama says Mandela has been an inspiration to him. He says that Mandela's story of imprisonment and emergence as an iconic figure of reconciliation has given him a sense of what is possible when "righteous people, people of good will work together for a larger cause."

He calls Mandela a personal hero.

Obama spoke during a press conference in Dakar with Senegalese President Macky Sall. He's scheduled to travel to South Africa on Friday.

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