French-Algerian killer, Mohamed Merah, was buried in Toulouse on Thursday after a row between Algeria and the southwestern French city where he gunned down four Jews (as well as three paratroopers), over who should accept his body.
UK TELEGRAPH (H/T Susan K) The father of the self-styled al-Qaeda gunman, who had dual nationality, had asked for his body to be buried in the family village of Bezzaz in Algeria, while his mother said she feared his grave would be “vandalised” in France.
But Algerian authorities refused to allow the 23-year old killer of a rabbi and three Jewish children in Toulouse and three soldiers in nearby locations to be sent to the North African country for burial.
Abdullah Zekri, an adviser to the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, with links to Algeria, said the mayor of Bezzaz had declined the request for “security reasons”.
Less than two hours before the funeral in the Muslim section of Toulouse’s Cornebarrieu cemetery, Pierre Cohen, the Socialist mayor of Toulouse, where emotions are running high after the murders, announced that burial within the city was “inappropriate.” Mr Zekri responded that the mayor had “no right to refuse to bury him,” threatening to file a legal complaint with the administrative courts.
President Nicolas Sarkozy then tried to end the row, saying he should be buried in France without argument. “He was French. Let him be buried and let’s not have any arguments about it,” he said. Far-Right candidate Marine Le Pen claimed Mr Sarkozy was guilty of “undignified capitulation” to Algerian authorities.