Arafat buried in Ram Allah

Veteran Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat has been laid to rest at his battered Muqata compound in the West Bank town of Ram Allah.

    Thousands of mourners rushed to touch the late leader's coffin

    Shortly after his coffin was lowered on Friday into a marble-and-stone grave, the crowd began a prayer joined by Palestinian leaders, including newly appointed Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) chairman Mahmud Abbas and Prime Minister Ahmad Quraya.

    Arafat had been due to lie in state before the burial, but the programme was disrupted by chaos at the compound, where thousands of mourners surged past security forces.

    "He was buried ahead of time because of the emotion of the crowd. We had no choice," one official said.     

    Wounded by gunfire

    Before the burial,

    thousands of mourners rushed to the coffin and police fired into the air

    to disperse the crowd that held up the removal of his body from the aircraft that flew in from Egypt. 

    Medics said four people were wounded by gunfire in the
    crowd.

    Arafat, who became a Third World liberation icon and won a Nobel Peace Prize, died at the age 75 in a French hospital on Thursday from an undetermined cause. 

    The chaotic scenes in Ram Allah were in sharp contrast to a funeral service earlier at a Cairo air base, where the public was kept away and even some world leaders were mistakenly shut out by overzealous Egyptian guards. 

    A few kilometres from the burial site, an explosion in a car
    killed two people in a reminder of the continuing violence in the region.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Strong quotes for Martin Luther King Jr Day

    Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr that resonate today

    Quotes of justice, education, religion and race said by MLK Jr.

    Bitcoin: Know the risks before you buy

    Bitcoin: All you need to know before you buy

    'Bitcoin is right now the riskiest investment you can make.' Here are the risks you should consider before you buy.