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Arafat is Buried in Ramallah - 2004-11-14


Longtime Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has been laid to rest in a marble-and-stone grave at his battered compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

His flag-draped coffin was carried to the gravesite Friday through a virtual sea of emotional mourners who swarmed around the helicopter that carried his body from a state funeral in Egypt. Palestinian police fired into the air to try to keep back the surging crowd that chanted Mr. Arafat's name.

At least four people were wounded, apparently by the security forces.

As Mr. Arafat's body was lowered into the ground, Muslim clerics recited verses from the Quran while mourners wept and embraced each other.

The 75-year-old Palestinian leader died early Thursday at a Paris hospital after a brief, still undisclosed illness. He was buried at the Muqataa compound where he spent the last nearly three years of his life as a virtual prisoner of Israel.

Palestinian officials appeared overwhelmed by the chaotic scene in Ramallah as Mr. Arafat's body arrived from Egypt.

Before and after the burial, tens of thousands of Palestinians attended memorial services for their late leader throughout the West Bank and Gaza.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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