Fans of DJ Arafat 'open coffin' during funeral unrest

By: BBC
Fans of DJ Arafat open his coffin at funeral
Policemen stood guard at the entrance of the Williamsville cemetery during the funeral

SOME fans of late musician DJ Arafat appear to have opened his coffin during unrest at the artist's funeral in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan.

The 33-year-old DJ, whose real name was Ange Didier Huon, died in a motorcycle accident earlier this month.

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Video on social media appear to show fans opening his coffin and undressing the late musician's body to check for tattoos and identify him.

The chaotic scenes came hours after thousands gathered to pay tribute.

A large stadium concert was held overnight in his honour before the musician was laid to rest on Saturday.

Police resorted to using tear gas to try disperse those who had gathered at a private family ceremony being held locally.

"We wanted to see the body of our idol before the tomb was sealed," one unnamed fan told AFP news agency.

DJ Arafat was one of the most popular African musicians in the Francophone world, and had been referred to as the "king" of coupé-décalé (cut and run), an Ivorian form of dance music.

DJ Arafat was named artist of the year at the Coupé-Decalé Awards in 2016 and 2017

He came to symbolise the flashy, well-dressed lifestyle associated with the music, which features fast percussion, deep bass and hip hop-style vocals.

Off stage, DJ Arafat was known for controversy, having faced accusations of domestic abuse.