Fiancee of slain Slovak journalist buried in wedding gown

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Bratislava (AFP)

The fiancee of a slain Slovak investigative journalist was laid to rest in her wedding gown on Friday, as hundreds of mourners flocked to her funeral in the northern Slovak town of Gregorovce, local media reported.

Police found journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova, both 27, shot dead at their home near the capital Bratislava on Sunday.

The murders have sparked nationwide protests and a wave of international condemnation amid concerns about media freedom and corruption in Slovakia.

Kuciak was gunned down as he was about to publish an article that raised possible political links to Italian businessmen with alleged ties to Calabria's notorious 'Ndrangheta mafia supposedly operating in Slovakia.

Slovak police on Thursday detained several Italian businessmen named by Kuciak in his explosive report published posthumously earlier this week.

Kuciak died from a gunshot wound to the chest while Kusnirova was shot in the head, police said.

The couple were to be wed in May. Kuciak's funeral will be held on Saturday in the northern village of Stiavnik, near the Czech border.

Addressing mourners gathered in the local Roman Catholic church in Gregorovce, the priest performing Kusnirova's funeral called the mafia "an institutionalised evil", adding that "only the devil can kill young people".

Thousands were expected to attend candlelit anti-corruption protests and memorials across Slovakia on Friday evening, as well as in cities outside the country including Prague, London and The Hague.