Funeral for Egypt's Hosni Mubarak receives full military pomp

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Former president Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s leader for 29 years, was given a pomp-filled military funeral on Wednesday, transported on a carriage drawn by six horses and accompanied by a 21-gun salute.

The funeral, led by former general and current President Abdel Fatah El Sisi, was a nod by the country’s military to one of its own. Mubarak was a former air force commander and a war hero, who was named vice president in 1975 and took over the presidency in 1981 after the killing of Anwar Sadat.

Mubarak miraculously escaped the attack on a military parade that killed Sadat with only superficial hand injury despite having been sat next to him, a stroke of luck that was repeated when he survived at least six attempts on his life during his rule. In one attempt in 1975, militants ambushed his convoy in Addis Ababa but their bullets could not pierce the armoured car he was travelling in.

Mubarak died on Tuesday after undergoing unspecified surgery that meant he was admitted to intensive care last week, according to state media and one of his sons, wealthy businessman Alaa Mubarak.

The funeral procession was attended by the country’s top officials and military brass along with Mubarak’s sons, Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, and one grandchild.

A supporter of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak weeps outside of Mosheer Tantawy mosque before his funeral. AP Photo

Egyptian honour guards carry the coffin of former president Hosni Mubarak. AFP

A horse-drawn carriage carries the flag-draped coffin of former president Hosni Mubarak during his funeral at Tantawi Mosque. AP Photo

Officers salute as the coffin carrying Mubarak passes by. EPA

Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmed Al Tayeb, right, and Egypt's Pope Tawadros II, second right, the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, third right, stand among other Arab officials during the funeral ceremony of Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak at Cairo's Mosheer Tantawy mosque. AFP

Pope Tawadros II attends the funeral of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Reuters

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi attends the funeral of former President Hosni Mubarak. Reuters

Alaa, son of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, is consoled during his father's funeral. Reuters

Honour guards accompany the horse-drawn carriage transporting the flag-draped coffin of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. EPA

Supporters of ousted President Hosni Mubarak hold posters with his photograph near the cemetery where he will be buried. AP Photo

Supporters of ousted President Hosni Mubarak film a helicopter bringing the body of former President Hosni Mubarak before his funeral. AP Photo

A helicopter carrying the coffin of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak flies during his funeral. Reuters

A supporter of former President Hosni Mubarak holds a poster with his photograph near the cemetery where he will be buried. AP Photo

About five hundred people walked behind the tightly controlled procession held amid draconian security measures in an eastern suburb of the capital Cairo.

Mubarak’s body was flown to the site of the funeral by a military helicopter. His coffin emerged wrapped in Egypt’s red, white and black flag and was put on a carriage drawn by six brown and black horses ridden by soldiers in ceremonial red coats. Behind the carriage, two soldiers walked bearing Mubarak’s medals.

Mourners offered traditional Muslim prayers for the dead at a new blue-domed mosque that is named after Field Marshal Mohammd Hussein Tantawi, the country’s top general who succeeded Mubarak after an 18-day uprising in 2011.

He was later buried at his family’s cemetery in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis.

Wednesday’s funeral, according to the state media and Mubarak’s supporters, was fitting of a man who spent more than four decades serving his country. However, to the supporters of the 2011 uprising that forced him out of office it made a mockery of the “January 25 revolution” and the memory of the almost 900 people who died.

Mubarak's funeral appeared to some extent designed to project an image of the military’s unity and its loyalty to its soldiers at a time when it has assumed a high public profile, controlling large construction and infrastructure projects overseen by Mr El Sisi and a multitude of other economic activity. However, the respect shown to Mubarak by the military contrasts with their treatment of two career officers: former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq and former chief of staff Gen Samy Anan.

After they announced their intention to run against Mr El Sisi in a 2018 election, Gen Anan was convicted by a military tribunal of breaching regulations governing officers wishing to run for office. He was released last year. Mr Shafiq withdrew from the race after a vicious campaign by pro-government media that touched on his integrity.

Updated: February 26, 2020 07:31 PM

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