Guinea-Bissau buried slain president Joan Bernardo “Nino” Vieira on Tuesday, laying to rest the man who had dominated the small West African state virtually since independence. Vieira’s assassination by soldiers in a revenge attack for the killing of an armed forces chief, demonstrated the military’s readiness to intervene in politics in a country that the U.N. drug officials say risks becoming a narco-state.

Thousands of people followed Vieira’s coffin from the national assembly building to the municipal cemetery in the capital Bissau where it was placed in concrete tomb. More than a dozen of Nino’s children were present as were representatives of foreign governments, but no heads of states.

Security forces held back crowds of people trying to enter the small cemetery but some members of the public were hurt when steel railings on the boundaries broke.


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