Former president Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s leader for 29 years, was given a pomp-filled military funeral on Wednesday, taken on a carriage drawn by six horses and accompanied by a 21-gun salute.
The funeral, led by former general and current President Abdel Fatah El Sisi, was a nod by the country’s military to one of its own.
Mubarak was a former air force commander and a war hero, who was named vice president in 1975 and took over the presidency in 1981 after the killing of Anwar Sadat.
Mubarak miraculously escaped the attack on a military parade that killed Sadat with only superficial hand injury despite having been sat next to him, a stroke of luck that was repeated when he survived at least six attempts on his life during his rule.
In one attempt in 1975, militants ambushed his convoy in Addis Ababa but their bullets could not pierce the armoured car he was travelling in.
Mubarak died on Tuesday after undergoing unspecified surgery that meant he was admitted to intensive care last week, according to state media and one of his sons, wealthy businessman Alaa Mubarak.
The funeral procession was attended by the country’s top officials and military brass along with Mubarak’s sons, Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, and one grandchild.
About 500 people walked behind the tightly controlled procession held amid heavy security measures in an eastern suburb of the capital Cairo.
Mubarak’s body was flown to the site of the funeral by a military helicopter.
His coffin emerged wrapped in Egypt’s red, white and black flag and was put on a carriage drawn by six brown and black horses ridden by soldiers in ceremonial red coats.
Behind the carriage, two soldiers walked bearing Mubarak’s medals.
Mourners offered traditional Muslim prayers for the dead at a new blue-domed mosque.
He was later buried at his family’s cemetery in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis.
Wednesday’s funeral, according to the state media and Mubarak’s supporters, was fitting of a man who spent more than four decades serving his country.
However, to the supporters of the 2011 uprising that forced him out of office it made a mockery of the “January 25 revolution”.
Mubarak's funeral appeared to some extent designed to project an image of the military’s unity and its loyalty to its soldiers at a time when it has assumed a high public profile, controlling large construction and infrastructure projects overseen by Mr El Sisi.