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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 23:08 GMT 00:08 UK
Violence mars reburial of Peron
Violence at Peron's reburial ceremony outside Buenos Aires
The violence was said to be between rival Peronist factions
A ceremony to mark the reburial of former Argentine President Juan Domingo Peron has been marred by violence near Buenos Aires.

Dozens of people were hurt and shots reportedly fired after tens of thousands had gathered in the capital.

Trade unions affiliated to the Peronist movement apparently fought over access to the lavish reburial ceremony.

Peron was being reburied in a family mausoleum south-west of Buenos Aires after his remains were disinterred this month.

Peron died in 1974 but his influence on Argentina remains strong.

Rubber bullets

Local media said the violence forced President Nestor Kirchner to abandon plans to attend the ceremony marking the transfer of Peron's remains to his final resting place.

The BBC's Daniel Schweimler says the Peronist movement was riddled with factional in-fighting while Peron was alive and it appears little has changed 32 years after his death.

Peron's coffin in Buenos Aires

Reports say the clash was between members of the building workers' and the truck drivers' trade unions and was possibly sparked by an inability to gain entrance to the ceremony in San Vicente, 40km (25 miles) south-west of the capital.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at club-wielding attackers.

Local media reports said one police officer was injured by gunfire.

The violence flared after thousands had paid respects to the procession that carried Peron's coffin from a cemetery in the capital to the new mausoleum on his former weekend estate in San Vicente.

Hundreds of people were forced to flee the grounds of the estate.

Riot police ringed the coffin as it was finally taken into the mausoleum.

Peron was a military man and a populist, loved by the poor and hated by the wealthier sectors of society, our correspondent says.

His supporters believe the mausoleum is a more fitting home for one of the key figures in recent Argentine history and many now hope the remains of his second wife - known around the world as Evita - can be laid alongside her husband.

The reburial - Peron's third - was timed to coincide with the anniversary of a huge protest in 1945 which called for Peron's release from prison after he had been jailed for a week by the leaders of a coup.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Scenes of the violence that marred the ceremony



SEE ALSO
Mausoleum bid for Peron and Evita
26 Aug 06 |  Americas
1952: Eva Peron dies
28 Apr 04 |  26
Timeline: Argentina
24 Aug 06 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Argentina
03 Jun 06 |  Country profiles

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