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Berita : Pengkebumian simbolik untuk Saddam di Beirut

300 stage a symbolic Beirut funeral for Saddam

Beirut (dpa) - Around 300 people staged a symbolic funeral in a Sunni neighbourhood of Beirut Friday (5 Jan) for former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

The crowd included members of the Baath party and Palestinian activists who carried out their Friday prayers and recited Koran verses for the dead Saddam at the Imam Ali mosque in the Lebanese capital's Tarik Jadideh neigbourhood.

A funeral cortege bearing a symbolic coffin then went in heavy rain to the "Martyrs Cemetery" located at the outskirts of the Shiite southern suburbs, a hotbed of Hezbollah.

"Unity - and no to discord...this is the legacy of Saddam Hussein," read banners carried by the crowd. "Long live the nation, long live Palestine," read others.

The head of the Baath party's Lebanese branch, Abdel Majid Rafii, and Saddam's Lebanese lawyer Bushra Khalil as well as the head of the Committee to Support Iraq and Palestine, Maan Bashour, headed the procession.

"This execution was a humiliation of all Arab people and free Muslims," Khalil said.

The crowd lashed out at Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, highest- ranking Shiite cleric in Iraq, accusing him of being a "collaborator" with the Americans.

Saddam was hanged before dawn on the first day of Moslem holiday Eid al-Adha for killing 148 Shiite villagers from Dujail, north of Baghdad, after an attempt on his life in 1982.

"Saddam's execution will not go unpunished," said Mohammed Rifai. "May God bless our martyr Saddam, the father of all Palestinians," chanted a Palestinian participating in the symbolic funeral.

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