International

Egypt holds full-honours military funeral for Mubarak

Guards carry the coffin of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the Tantawi Mosque, during his funeral in eastern Cairo.

Guards carry the coffin of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the Tantawi Mosque, during his funeral in eastern Cairo.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that swept much of the region

Egypt was holding a full-honours military funeral on Wednesday for the country’s former autocratic President Hosni Mubarak, who was for decades the face of stability in the Middle East but was ousted from power in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that swept much of the region.

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 Mr. Mubarak’s body was brought for the funeral service.

Military pallbearers carried Mr. Mubarak’s casket wrapped in the Egyptian flag into the mosque for prayers. Outside the sprawling mosque, a military phalanx waited to receive his coffin for burial.

The 91-year-old Mr. Mubarak died on Tuesday at a Cairo military hospital from heart and kidney complications.. He was admitted to hospital on January 21 with intestinal obstruction and underwent surgery, after which he was treated in intensive care.

To the outside world, Mr. Mubarak the strongman symbolised 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.

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

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi attended the service, which was to be followed later in the day by burial at the cemetery in Heliopolis, an upscale Cairo district that was Mr. Mubarak’s home for most of his rule and where he lived until his death.

 

On Tuesday, el-Sissi extended condolences to the former President’s family, including his widow Suzanne and two sons, wealthy businessman Alaa and Mr. Mubarak’s one-time heir apparent Gamal.

In a statement, el-Sissi praised Mr. Mubarak’s service during the 1973 war with Israel but made no mention of his rule as president of the most populous Arab state. Three days of national mourning were to begin Wednesday, el-Sissi announced.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 2:34:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/egypt-holds-full-honours-military-funeral-for-mubarak/article30922571.ece

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