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Saturday, October 30, 1999 Published at 17:12 GMT

World: Europe

In pictures: Armenia's grief

The bodies of Armenia's prime minister and leading politicians, murdered earlier in the week, are lying in state in open coffins in Yerevan's opera house. Thousands of mourners joined relatives and friends of the deceased in paying their last respects.

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Funereal music was relayed to mourners waiting for the cortege to cross Yerevan's central Freedom Square.

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Soldiers carried the body of the late Prime Minister, Vazgen Sarkisian, through the throng.

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was among leaders to attend the ceremony, offering support and calling it a "sad and mournful day".

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The coffins were laid side by side on the opera house stage, with large portraits of the victims propped in front and candelabras lit behind.

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