Polish, European officials attend burial of slain mayor

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Polish and European officials joined thousands of people from across Poland Saturday for the funeral of Piotr Adamowicz, the slain mayor of the northern city of Gdansk.

Adamowicz, 53, died Monday after being stabbed the night before at a charity event. The arrested suspect is an ex-convict with a grudge against an opposition party that Adamowicz once belonged to.

European Council President Donald Tusk, a personal friend of Adamowicz, was among those attending the burial at the vast Gothic St. Mary’s Basilica. Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also attended along with former leaders including Lech Walesa.

Other dignitaries included former German President Joachim Gauck and city mayors from other countries.

The black urn with the mayor’s ashes will be laid to rest at one of the basilica’s chapels.

Crowds in the streets will be able to watch the ceremony on giant screens.

A solemn procession brought Adamowicz’s casket to the basilica for a Mass Friday night. The body was then cremated.

The slaying, which came as Poland faces a deep political divide over actions by the conservative ruling Law and Justice party, was a shock to the nation. It has drawn calls for greater national unity and condemnation of hate speech in the public sphere.

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