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Bangladesh writer Humayun Ahmed: Dhaka crowds pay last respects

Humayun Ahmed's son, Nuhash Ahmed (centre) grieves at his father's coffin on Monday
Image caption Humayun Ahmed's son, Nuhash Ahmed (centre) was among the mourners

Thousands of people have gathered in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, to pay their last respects to the writer Humayun Ahmed, who died last week.

His body arrived in Dhaka from New York early on Monday and was taken to the city's Central Shaheed Minar monument.

Political leaders, officials and fans thronged to get a last glimpse of the writer before his burial.

The best-selling author was known for his depiction of the tribulations of ordinary middle-class Bangladeshi life.

Police said that mourners travelled from all over the country to say their final farewells.

People queued in lines that stretched miles - younger mourners standing alongside old men, civil servants, bankers and businessmen. Some offered flowers, others were in tears, correspondents say.

Representatives of the prime minister and president paid tribute to the writer and laid wreaths at his coffin.

The 64-year-old wrote over 200 fiction and non-fiction books - written in easily understandable Bengali - nearly all of which were bestsellers in Bangladesh. He will be buried on Tuesday.

BBC Bengali editor Sabir Mustafa says that Humayun Ahmed - also a noted filmmaker - was idolised by an entire generation of young men and women who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s.

In his novels Ahmed created characters - eccentric, comic, loveable - to which young readers readily related.

He introduced a deadpan humour in his writing that was very rare in Bengali literature. He explored the ups and downs of urban life with a sharp eye for the funny side, our correspondent says.

He died of colon cancer at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital in New York on Thursday night.

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