Former Iraqi president Ahmed Hassan Al-Bakr, who died Monday...

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- Former Iraqi president Ahmed Hassan Al-Bakr, who died Monday after a prolonged illness, was buried in Baghdad Tuesday in a state funeral, the Iraqi news agency said.

It said the procession was led by Michel Aflaq, secretary-general and a founding member of the Arab Socialist Baath Party, and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who overthrew Al-Bakr in a 1979 coup.


King Hussein of Jordan also took part in the ceremony for Al-Bakr, who was 68. Hussein later returned home following a two-day visit.

Wrapped in the black, green, red and white Iraqi flag, the coffin was carried by officers to Al Karkh cemetery in Baghdad, preceded by an honorary guard while a military band played funeral music, the report said.

Government offices were ordered closed for a week's mourning period starting Monday in respect for theformer president.

Despite his fall from power three years ago, Al-Bakr, a Sunni Moslem, remained a respected figure in Iraqi politics and lived in Iraq with his wife. He had three children.

A statement issued by the presidential court described Al-Bakr as the 'great struggler.'

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