The bronze coffin carrying the body of Houphouet-Boigny, who died on 7 December at the reported age of 88, was brought into the cathedral by nine officers struggling under its weight.
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President Francois Mitterrand of France and General Sani Abacha of Nigeria were among dozens of leaders who packed into the huge Basilica of Our Lady of Peace yesterday for the funeral of Felix Houphouet-Boigny, who ruled the Ivory Coast for 33 years, AP reports from Yamoussoukro.