Several thousand Greek Cypriots crowded into Nicosia's biggest church yesterday (March 17) to attend the funeral service of the murdered former Interior Minister, Mr Ploycarpos Georghadjis.
GV PAN crowds waiting for funeral procession
LV Crowds lining street
MV Police car
STV Two men carrying photo of Georghadjis at head of funeral procession (2 shots)
STV Coffin being carried (2 shots)
SV Greek religious leaders
SCU & SV Wreaths (2 shots)
TV Procession with EOKA flag in F/G
GV PAN Palace of Pres. Makarios
MV Armed policeman in grounds
SV Police in Land-rover
SLV Armed policeman on palace roof
CU Armed police (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Several thousand Greek Cypriots crowded into Nicosia's biggest church yesterday (March 17) to attend the funeral service of the murdered former Interior Minister, Mr Ploycarpos Georghadjis.
Hundreds of people also lined the streets of the capital as the funeral procession passed. Several government leaders attended the service in their personal capacity, among them Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos, Labour Minister and representing the House of Representatives, and Mr Glafkos Clerides, who was the co-founder of the Unified Party with Mr Georghadjis last year. President Makarios did not attend the funeral.
The Cyprus Police Band played martial music for the funeral procession of several hundred people which followed the coffin of the ex-Minister through the streets before the funeral ceremony. Hundreds of people from the village where Mr Georghadjis -- a former EOKA leader -- was born accompanied the wreath-covered hearse to Nicosia's main cemetery.
Monday night (March 16) former members of EOKA -- which fought for independence against the British in the 1950's -- asked bar and nightclub owners to close their premises early as a sign of mourning for Mr Georghadjis shot dead in a lonely field near Nicosia on Sunday night.
There have been conflicting reports about the circumstances of the former Minister's death. One said he was lured to ambush by an anonymous telephone caller promising information about the attack on President Makarios' helicopter on March 10.
Troops throughout the island have been on full alert and police have been standing by for possible trouble, but so far things have remained quiet and shops have been open for business as normal.