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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Elcibey Buried in Baku

BAKU, Azerbaijan — Tens of thousands of people turned out on Wednesday to mourn Azerbaijan’s former President Abulfaz Elcibey, who was given a state funeral in the nation’s most honored cemetery.

More than 20,000 mourners accompanied the coffin from Elcibey’s house to the Academy of Sciences and then on to the graveyard overlooking the Caspian Sea, a distance of several kilometers.

A mullah intoned a prayer along the way as mourners wept for the academic turned politician who died of prostate cancer aged 62 in a Turkish hospital early on Tuesday.

For many, Elcibey was seen as the man who helped the republic of 8 million shake off Soviet rule and take its first tentative steps toward true independence.