The bodies of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's Chief Representative in France, Ezzedine Kalkak, and his deputy Adnan Hummad, have been flown back to the Middle East for burial. (Saturday 5 August).
The bodies of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's Chief Representative in France, Ezzedine Kalkak, and his deputy Adnan Hummad, have been flown back to the Middle East for burial. (Saturday 5 August). The two men were murdered on Thursday (3 August. Mr. Kalkak will be buried in Syria and Mr. Hammad in Beirut, but a funeral service was held in Paris on Saturday before the bodies taken to the airport.
Crowds of PLO supporters gathered for the funeral service at a mosque in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Mr. Kalkak and Mr. Hammad were killed when two Arab gunmen burst into their office in the French capital firing submachine-guns and throwing grenades. The killings have been seen as the latest bloody chapter in a battle between moderate and radical Palestinian factions. Their coffins were draped in the PLO flag for the funeral service.
At the funeral service, the top surviving PLO official still in Paris, Mr. Ibrahim Souss, accused Iraq of being behind the killings.
Hundreds of mourning Arabs cried for revenge as they walked behind the coffin after the funeral service. Chanting "with our souls and with our blood, we shall avenge you" they marched through the streets of Paris carrying pictures of dead men. They sang Palestinian guerrilla battle songs and shouted "Long live Palestine".
A police escort accompanied the bodies to Orly Airport. They were flown to their homelands later in the day. Two detained gunmen are expected to be charged with murder. They have been identified as Jordanian nationals of Palestine origin. Palestinian sources said foreign missions of the PLO had received a massage from their leader Yasser Arafat asking them to denounce the role of the Iraqi Secret Service in the recent Secret killings.
Ambassadors of Arab countries attended the funerals of the two men, but the new Iraqi Ambassador who arrived in Paris recently did not attend. Iraq has formally denied any involvement in the killings. The presence of the Egyptian Ambassador at the mosque caused some surprise because of strained relations between Cairo and the PLO since President Anwar Sadat launched his initiative with a visit to Israel last year. The Egyptian Ambassador left the largest wreath.