Mourners burned Israeli, American flags
Mourners prayed to an empty bench
Photo: AP
Afterman of al-Qaeda attack on Istanbul (Archives)
Photo: AP
Turkey: Thousands attend bin Laden 'funeral'
Mourners gather in Istanbul to give al-Qaeda leader burial rites – even though he was buried at sea. 'US, UK, Israel murdered a martyr,' mourners chant

Thousands participated in a funeral ceremony for assassinated al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Istanbul on Friday, following Muslim burial rites but not including an actual burial.


Bin Laden was taken out by Navy SEAL troops last week and was subsequently buried at sea.


"The US, UK and Israel are the murderers of the martyr," the participants chanted. "The US is the terrorist, bin Laden is the warrior."



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The mourners carried pictures of bin Laden and signs condemning his assassination, and called the man who planned the September 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans "a beautiful, wise man, a warrior for Islam."


The mourners, who gathered near Istanbul's Fatih Mosque, which is located in the area that is considered Turkey's epicenter of Islamic extremism, burned Israeli, American and British flags, and prayed facing a stone bench that traditionally holds the body of the deceased.



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