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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 November 2005, 02:46 GMT
Spanish Mass marks Franco death
Man salutes at the grave of General Franco
Thousands came to remember General Franco
Thousands of people have attended a Mass at the burial site of Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco to mark the 30th anniversary of his death.

They packed the basilica of Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caidos, in mountains 50km (30 miles) north of Madrid.

His daughter Carmen Franco Polo was among the mourners, many of whom stayed on after the Roman Catholic service to chant fascist songs, one witness said.

Right and left-wing activists took part in marches on the anniversary's eve.

Some 2,000 anti-fascists marched to the heart of Madrid on Saturday, to lay wreaths to the victims of Francoism.

More than a thousand also took part in a rightist march over plans to give the Catalonia region greater autonomy.

Many carried flags with the eagle, a symbol of the Franco regime's political party, Falange, and shouted "Catalonia is Spain".

Spanish civil war

Right-wingers shouted similar slogans after the mass at the imposing mausoleum in Valle de los Caidos where Franco is buried.

General Franco
General Franco ruled Spain until his death in 1975

Insults were also reportedly yelled at the Prime Minister Zapatero's current socialist government.

The national heritage agency responsible for the basilica said some 6,000 people attended the service.

As well as Franco's daughter, witnesses said Colonel Antonio Tejero, who tried to overthrow the democratic government in 1981, was also there.

Franco led a military uprising in 1936 that sparked the Spanish Civil War and ushered in nearly 40 years of an often brutal dictatorship.

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