Military funeral of Egypt’s former intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman took place today, on Saturday, 21 July 2012, in Cairo amid strong military and security presence and were attended by thousands of people.
Suleiman’s body arrived at Cairo International airport on Saturday morning amid tight security measures. The members of Suleiman’s family and some prominent figures were present to receive the body of the former spy chief. Dozens of supporters of Omar Suleiman gathered near the airport wearing black clothes, mourning and chanting the collective prayers.
|Omar Suleiman's funeral|
Then the body of ex-intelligence head was transported to the Al Rashdan Mosque located in Cairo’s Nasr city district where the ceremony began with funeral prayers. Al Rashdan Mosque which was built by army, was heavily secured by Central Security Forces (CSF) and military police. Following prayers the coffin of Omar Suleiman, wrapped with Egyptian flag, was moved through the streets of the district on a horse-drawn carriage. It was accompanied by security forces, presidential guard and military police, and with the marching band as well. The coffin with Suleiman’s body was transported to Medinet Nasr Cemetery for burial.
Omar Suleiman’s funeral was attended by thousands of mourners, among them the high state officials and Egypt’s prominent figures. Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy wasn’t present but he sent his Grand Chamberlain Major General Abdel Moemen Fouda to represent presidential office at the funeral events. Field Marshal Hussein Tantawy, head of SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces), his deputy and Chief of Staff Sami Anan and Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim also attended the ceremony, but SCAF representatives made just a brief appearance. Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa and the delegation from Al-Azhar, the highest Islamic institution, were also present at the funeral. The ceremony was also attended by the number of political and public figures and prominent Egyptians.
|Omar Suleiman's funeral|
So thousands attended Omar Suleiman’s funeral, and among them there were several hundreds of his supporters waving Egyptian flags, holding the pictures of ex-chief of intelligence and mourning his death. Some were also protesting against Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsy calling him the “foreign agent” and accusing Muslim Brotherhood forces of killing Suleiman. Some were even raising their shoes in a protest.
There were also some rumors circulating that Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak was asking about the permission to attend Suleiman’s funeral, but those reports were denied later by Interior Ministry of Egypt.
Omar Suleiman, 76, was considered to be one of the closest allies of ousted president Hosni Mubarak and also one of the pillars of his regime. Suleiman has long served as a head of intelligence and was appointed by Mubarak as his vice-president during January 25 Revolution. It was him who announced on 11 February 2011 about Mubarak’s resignation. After that Omar Suleiman disappeared from public life and came back again later as a presidential candidate, but was disqualified from the race. His health started to deteriorate, and he moved then to US for medical treatment. Omar Suleiman died in US hospital undergoing medical tests. According to clinic report his death was caused by the rare blood disease affecting his kidneys and heart.
|Omar Suleiman's supporter attending his funeral|