DUSHANBE, December 25, Asia-Plus - President Emomali Rahmonov headed the Tajik delegation at the funeral of the late Turkmen leader, Saparmurat Niyazov, Sunday, presidential press service reported.  

Niyazov''s funeral took place on the morning of December 24 in the presidential palace in Ashgabat.  Thousands of mourners paid their respects to the late President of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov.  He then was taken to his home village, Kipchak, some 15 kilometers of Ashgabat.  The body of Saparmurt Niyazov was buried in the mausoleum, next to his parents.

Heads of state Tajikistan and Kazakhstan and high-ranking delegations from other Central Asian countries and elsewhere were in Ashgabat for the ceremonies.

 Following a decision by the Turkmen Security Council, the mourning period in the country will continue until December 30.

Niyazov, who was declared president-for-life in the Central Asian ex-Soviet republic, passed away at the age of 66 after a cardiac arrest at 1:10 a.m. local time (8:10 p.m. GMT Wednesday), following several years of heart trouble.