Albania has declared five days of national mourning following the death of Mr. Hysni Kapo,?
Albania has declared five days of national mourning following the death of Mr. Hysni Kapo, a member of the country's Political Bureau. Mr. Kapo, who was sixty-four, is reported to have died of cancer of the pancreas in a Paris clinic. His funeral was held last week (27 September).
SYNOPSIS: Thousands queued outside the hall where Hysni Kapo's body was lying in state. They had come to pay their last respects to the sixty-four-year-old leader, who had died four days previously in a Paris clonic. His body had been flown out from France in order for it to lie in state on Tirana's main People's Hall.
Inside, mourners filed past his coffin, giving clenched first salutes. Mr. Kapo was a leading figure in the country's Labour Party. Standing by the coffin, also giving the party salute, were his wife and family.
Head of State Mr. Enver Hoxha led a government contingent into the hall to pay homage to their dead colleague. Mr. Hoxha had also been at Tirana Airport the day before to receive Mr. Kapo's body on the flight from Paris. State sources said Mr. Kapo died of an incurable cancer of the pancreas.
The cortege then moved off through the streets of Tirana. Leading the procession was Mr. Hoxha, fellow Labour Party member Mehmet Shehu and Mr. Kapo's widow.
Under the eyes of the Albanian armed forces, mr. Kapo's coffin was conveyed on a gun carriage from the People's Hall. Tirana's long boulevards were lined with mourners to watch the funeral procession make its way to the cemetery. Mr. Kapo had for many years been an important figure in the Albanian government. He was a member of the Defence Council, a representative in the People's Assembly and a top member of the country's Political Bureau. He had also been awarded the titles of Hero Of the People and hero of Socialist Labour. A government statement said he had "devoted his whole life of a proletarian leader and internationalist militant to the cause of Party, people and socialism."
Mr. Kapo's coffin was taken up to the foot of nearby mountain, to the cemetery of the Nation's Martyrs. His grave is situated next to those of many former distinguished members of Albania's ruling Labour Party, which claims to provide the world's only pure Communist government. Mr. Kapo was a senior and trusted member of its ruling central committee. It was he who last year accused China of inspiring an abortive military coup in 1970, naming three former Ministers as the ringleaders. Hysni Kapo's name, said an official statement, would "live for ever" in the hearts of the Albanian people.