Egypt holds full-honors military funeral for Hosni Mubarak

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Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb (2nd R) and Egypt's Pope Tawadros II (3rd R), the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria on the Holy See of Saint Mark and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki (4th R), stand among other Arab officials during the funeral ceremony of Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak. (AFP)
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Supporters of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak hold his photos near the main gate of a cemetery during his burial ceremony, east of Cairo. (Reuters)
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A supporter of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak holds a photo of him outside the main gate of Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi Mosque. (Reuters)
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Egyptian honor guards carry the coffin of former president Hosni Mubarak during his funeral ceremony at Cairo’s Mosheer Tantawy mosque. (AFP)
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Updated 26 February 2020

Egypt holds full-honors military funeral for Hosni Mubarak

  • The Republican Guard carried Mubarak’s casket wrapped in the Egyptian flag
  • To the outside world, Mubarak the strongman symbolized so much of Egypt’s modern history

CAIRO: Egypt held a full-honors military funeral Wednesday for the country's former autocratic President Hosni Mubarak, who ruled for decades before he was ousted in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that swept much of the region.

The funeral, replete with cannon fire and a horse-drawn carriage carrying his coffin, highlighted the wartime achievements of Mubarak. It comes as part of a government effort to make Mubarak’s military career his legacy, rather than his time in office.

Egypt's current President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, attended briefly, offering condolences and shaking hands with Mubarak’s two sons, Alaa and Gamal, and his wife Suzanne.

Mubarak's body was later placed in a tomb a few kilometers away at his family’s cemetery in Heliopolis, an upscale Cairo district that was Mubarak’s home for most of his rule and where he lived quietly until his death.

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The country’s state television channel, meanwhile, maintained live coverage and played footage of Mubarak in his younger, pre-office days, lauding him for his role as commander of the air force during the country’s 1973 war with Israel. As president, Mubarak would later solidify peace with their onetime enemy.

On Wednesday, a few dozen Mubarak supporters, clad in black and carrying posters of the former president, had gathered since morning hours at a mosque complex in an eastern New Cairo neighborhood, where Mubarak's body was brought for the funeral service.

A horse carriage carrying Mubarak's casket, wrapped in the Egyptian flag, left the mosque after afternoon prayers, to a slow military march. His sons, wealthy businessman Alaa and Mubarak's one-time heir apparent Gamal, stood in the front row alongside several Mubarak-era ministers.

The 91-year-old Mubarak died on Tuesday at a Cairo military hospital from heart and kidney complications, according to medical documents obtained by The Associated Press. He was admitted to hospital on Jan. 21 with intestinal obstruction and underwent surgery, after which he was treated in intensive care.

To the outside world, Mubarak the strongman symbolized so much of Egypt's modern history but his rule of nearly 30 years ended after hundreds of thousands of young Egyptians rallied for 18 days of unprecedented street protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and elsewhere in 2011, forcing him to step down.

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Click here for a gallery of images from Mubarak's funeral Hosni Mubarak buried with full military honors cick here

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Mubarak's funeral service was held at a military mosque in eastern Cairo, named for now retired Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who headed the military council that ran Egypt following Mubarak’s ouster and until the election of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2012.

A crowd of Mubarak supporters gathered at the cemetery, holding photos of the deposed president and chanting, “Gamal, tell your father, 100 million say goodbye!”

“We thank President El-Sisi for holding a military funeral for President Mubarak. He deserves it,” said Ahmed Salah, a 43-year-old businessman from Menofia, north of Cairo.

Police officers were out in force, a sign that the government regarded his death as a security risk. Under El-Sisi, Mubarak and his sons ultimately walked free from prison but kept far from the limelight.

In a statement Tuesday, El-Sisi praised Mubarak’s service during the 1973 war with Israel but made no mention of his rule as president.

Pro-government media also paid tribute to Mubarak, a pilot by training, for his command of Egypt’s air force. National flags at government buildings flew at half-mast.

“Through his military and political career, Mubarak made undeniable achievements and sacrifices,” the state-run Al-Aharm newspaper eulogized Mubarak in its editorial Wednesday.

 


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