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Former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid, or Gur Dur, who died here Wednesday evening will be given a state funeral today in his birthplace in Jombang, East Java, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced here Wednesday night.

Speaking at a news conference at the Presidential Palace here, Susilo said he himself would oversee the funeral while the head of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), Taufik Kiemas, headed the ceremony to bring Gus Dur's body from his residence in Ciganjur to East Java.

"It is clear that the nation gives the highest honour to him, in the funeral in Jombang, East Java, with a state ceremony that I will lead myself," he said in a sad voice.

Susilo also announced a seven-day mourning period and asked Indonesians to fly the nation's flag at half-mast during that period.

"In this very sad time, as a Muslim I urge Muslims to recite the 'al-Fatihah' for this great leader who we loved, Haji Abdurrahman Wahid," he said and went on to recite the prayer before ending his statement.

Hundreds even thousands of people made up of leaders and the public had gone to Gus Dur's residence in Ciganjur, South Jakarta, to pay their last respects.

Gus Dur, 69, died at the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM) in Jakarta at about 6.45pm local time yesterday after several health problems. He had recently been treated in hospital.

Source : Kompas

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