SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) -- Thousands of Chileans, some praying and many in tears, flocked to a chapel in Santiago on Monday to pay their respects to Augusto Pinochet, the former dictator who polarized the country.
Pinochet, who ruled Chile for 17 years, died Sunday in a hospital after suffering a heart attack a week ago. He had appeared to be recovering from the attack before his health suddenly deteriorated, doctors said.
News of his death prompted an outpouring of conflicting emotions in Chile where, a third of a century after he swept to power in a swift and violent coup, Pinochet's legacy is still hotly disputed. (Watch rising smoke and raging fires as police clash with demonstrators )
Some Chileans say the general saved their country from communism while others regard him as a murderer who escaped justice and should have been tried for human rights abuses.