INTRODUCTION: Ceremonies were held in Rome and Beirut on Monday (12 October) to commemorate Majed Abu Sharar, a senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) who was killed in an explosion in a hotel in the centre of Rome on Friday (9 October).
Italy: GV Man holding PLO flag outside building.
SV PAN Wreath and people at entrance to building (2 SHOTS)
SV Coffin being carried out of hearse.
Lebanon: CU Portrait of Abu Sharar.
SV People with wreaths waiting at airport.
SV Widow and other mourners.
SV Wreath being carried at Beirut airport.
SV Vehicle waiting to take coffin away.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Ceremonies were held in Rome and Beirut on Monday (12 October) to commemorate Majed Abu Sharar, a senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) who was killed in an explosion in a hotel in the centre of Rome on Friday (9 October). The PLO claims he was assassinated by Mossad the Israeli Secret Service.An autopsy report said Mr. Sharar was killed and was not blown up while handling a bomb. Before the body of the 45-year-old official was flown back to Beirut a memorial service was held in Rome.
SYNOPSIS:The service took place at the legal mortuary and was attended by various PLO officials and members of the Arab community. Mr. Sharar was head of the PLO's Unified Information Office and was a central committee member of Fatah the largest PLO commando organisation.
More than 100 mourners were at the brief ceremony in the morgue before the body was flown to Beirut. Mr. Sharar had been at an international seminar in Rome to express solidarity with Palestinian writers and intellectuals. Following the autopsy there was speculation that the PLO leader had been shot and then blown up. But Italian officials refused to comment until further tests had been made.
In Beirut, officials waited at the airport for the coffin along with Mr. Sharar's widow and other mourners.
The body was then taken to the city centre before the funeral service on Tuesday (13 October) which was attended by thousands.