Tashkent: Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov was laid to rest on Saturday in his home city of Samarkand during a state funeral, which was attended by various foreign delegations, officials said.

Tributes to the leader, who took control of Uzbekistan 27 years ago and ran the large, landlocked country in an authoritarian manner, were paid in Tashkent, where thousands of persons gathered on the streets to catch a glimpse of Islam Karimov’s coffin as it was taken to the airport on its way to Samarkand, Efe news reported.

The government and parliament of Uzbekistan had said in a joint statement on Friday that Islam Karimov, 78, had died from brain haemorrhage.

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Uzbek authorities declared three days of national mourning from Saturday for the deceased leader.

Born on January 30, 1938 in the family of a civil servant, Karimov did his higher education at the Central Asian Polytechnic Institute, and finally graduated from the Tashkent Institute of National Economy with a PhD degree in Economic Sciences.

In March, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic elected Karimov President of the Republic.

On August 31, 1991, Karimov declared the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In the general elections on December 30 the same year, he was elected president of Uzbekistan.

In March, 1995, in accordance with a national referendum, his tenure was extended till 2000. He was then re-elected the top leader of Uzbekistan in 2007 and 2015.

Karimov is survived by two daughters and five grandchildren.

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