Branch Davidian Survivors Mark 20 Years

ATF agents are shown in a file photo dated April 23,1993, inspecting the only structure that was left standing after a fire destroyed the Branch Davidian cult compound. (credit: J. DAVID AKE/AFP/Getty Images)

ATF agents are shown in a file photo dated April 23,1993, inspecting the only structure that was left standing after a fire destroyed the Branch Davidian cult compound. (credit: J. DAVID AKE/AFP/Getty Images)

WACO (AP) – 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.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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