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Arafat Mourners Burst Into Ramallah Compound

12 November 2004 -- While the coffin containing Yasser Arafat was being flown to the West Bank, thousands of Palestinian mourners burst into the walled compound where the Palestinian leader is to be buried later today.

Hundreds of Palestinian police had tried to keep the mourners from coming inside the compound in Ramallah, but mourners managed to climb over walls and force their way through gates so they could see the area where a helicopter carrying Arafat's body is supposed to land.

Earlier today, funeral services were held in Egypt's capital Cairo for Arafat, who died yesterday while receiving medical treatment in France.

Following prayers at a mosque on a local military base, a horse-drawn carriage carried Arafat's coffin through a tree-lined street followed by a line of heads of state and government ministers.

The procession made its way to a military airfield, from where Arafat's casket was loaded onto a plane, en route to Ramallah.

In nearby Jerusalem, hundreds of Palestinian youths clashed with Israeli police.


[Also see:

Middle East: Palestinian Leader Arafat Dead At 75


Analysis: Arafat's Legacy In The Palestinian Authority]