Sweden’s Biggest Security Operation for Palme Funeral With AM-Palme
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Police said Friday they would stage the biggest security operation in Swedish history for the March 15 funeral of Prime Minister Olof Palme.
French President Francois Mitterrand, Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar are among the 600 foreign envoys, guerrilla leaders and party officials expected for the ceremony in Stockholm’s neo-medieval City Hall.
Palme, 59, was shot dead Feb. 28 by a man wielding a .357-caliber Magnum revolver. The prime minister and his wife, Lisbet, 55, were walking on the street without bodyguards. She was grazed by a bullet but not seriously hurt.
Kenneth Karlsson, a police spokesman, told The Associated Press that funeral guests would be protected by ″the largest security apparatus Sweden has ever seen,″ about 1,000 uniformed and plainclothes police officers.
The gathering of international mourners will be the largest in Sweden since the funeral in 1961 of U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, a Swede who died in an airplane crash in Africa during the Congo crisis.
King Carl XVI Gustaf will speak at Palme’s funeral, said Social Democratic Party secretary Bo Toresson, adding that he believed it will be the first time a monarch has addressed the funeral of a prime minister.
Palme’s Social Democratic Party is handling the arrangements.
Invitations were not extended to Paraguay or Chile, ruled by right-wing military governments, or South Africa, which practices legalized racial segregation.
Afghanistan, where about 115,000 Soviet troops are helping the Marxist government fight Islamic insurgents, and Cambodia, which is occupied by Vietnamese troops, were also not invited.
Leaders expected to attend include: Prime Ministers Bettino Craxi of Italy, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Felipe Gonzales of Spain and Andreas Papandreou of Greece; Presidents Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Samora Machel of Mozambique, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Erich Honecker of East Germany; guerrilla leaders Oliver Tambo of the African National Congress, which is fighting apartheid in South Africa, and Sam Nujoma of the South West African People’s Organization.