Algeria buries first postcolonial president

Apr 13, 2012, 5:16 PM

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) – Leaders from Algeria and neighboring countries and crowds of mourners have paid homage to the country’s first president and a leader in its fight for independence from France a half century ago.

Ahmed Ben Bella was buried Friday in an Algiers suburb in a plot reserved for “heroes of the Algerian revolution.”

Ben Bella died Wednesday at 95. He was a symbol of pan-Arabist ideology as well as the global anti-colonial movement.

Crowds came out along the 10-kilometer (six-mile) route of the funeral procession, despite nonstop rain.

Those at the ceremony included the presidents of Algeria and Tunisia and prime ministers of Morocco and Mauritania.

Algeria marks 50 years of independence from France this year, after a 1962 cease-fire that ended an eight-year war.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Algeria buries first postcolonial president