Arafat memorial: 14 hurt in stage collapse

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November 12, 2006 14:58

 
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A wooden stage collapsed during a memorial for Yasser Arafat on Sunday, lightly wounding 14 people, including the sister of the late Palestinian leader. Thousands of people attended Sunday's memorial in a Gaza City field to remember Arafat, who died on Nov. 11, 2004, after a sudden, rapid decline in his health. The crowd waved yellow flags of the Fatah Party, which Arafat founded and led for four decades, singing folk songs and firing guns in the air. In the middle of one song, the makeshift wooden stage created for the event collapsed, silencing the crowd for nearly a minute before the singing continued. The head of the Presidential Guard, an elite security unit, and Arafat's sister, Khadija, were among those hurt in the collapse, officials said.

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