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Massachusetts' top political figures are mourning the death of Nelson Mandela.

    Gov. Deval Patrick called the anti-apartheid leader ``a remarkable and inspiring example of resilience, persistence, determination and grace, in his time and for all time.''

    U.S. Sen. Edward Markey described Mandela as a ``hero for the ages'' and said that by ``enduring the shackles of prison for nearly three decades, he freed the world from the scourge of apartheid.''

    Congressman Joe Kennedy said Mandela ``brought the light of justice to a world struggling against the darkness of oppression and hate.''

    Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president and a colossus of the 20th century, was already a world figure when he emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa.

    He died Thursday at age 95.