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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Fifty-one candidates for U.S. citizenship are set to take the Oath of Allegiance aboard a decommissioned Naval ship in Buffalo.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says Thursday's ceremony is an early start to the federal agency's annual celebration of Independence Day. More than 95 naturalization ceremonies are planned around the country through July 5.

The Buffalo candidates are from 25 countries from Afghanistan to Zambia.

U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara will preside over the ceremony on board the U.S.S. Little Rock at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park.