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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 November 2006, 20:47 GMT
Hungary mourns crushed uprising
By Nick Thorpe
BBC News, Budapest

People lay flowers at the monument to the revolution
Commemorations have taken an anti-government dimension
Hungary has marked the 50th anniversary of the crushing of its revolution peacefully, with rallies and other commemorations in the capital Budapest.

There has been no repeat of the clashes between anti-government protesters and police which marked commemorations of the start of the revolution last month.

Exactly 50 years ago, a massive Soviet army invaded Hungary to crush a popular revolution which was only 12 days old.

At least 2,800 Hungarians and more than 700 Soviet soldiers died in fighting.

Candlelit march

Supporters of the government and its opponents vied with each other to prove their peaceful intentions at the commemorations.

Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany laid a single white carnation at a new monument to the revolution in the morning.

By the afternoon thousands more flowers had been laid at the same site.

He also paid his respects at plot 301 of the city cemetery, where many of those executed for their role in the revolution are buried.

As darkness fell tens of thousands of opposition supporters marched in silence, holding candles through the centre of Budapest.

Opposition supporters were both commemorating the victims of 1956 and protesting against the police use of force on 23 October, when many protesters were hurt by rubber bullets.

There were many smaller rallies during the day, all under the watchful eye of the police and sometimes the riot police. But all passed peacefully.

On Sunday a day of prayer has been organised by some of the civic groups calling for the prime minister's resignation.




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