Toulouse killer Mohamed Merah to be buried in France, after refusal from Algeria
Mohamed Merah, the Islamist gunman who killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a teacher and three soldiers near Toulouse, will be buried in France because Algeria refused a request from his family to have him buried there.
Abdallah Zekri of the Paris Grand Mosque said Mohamed Merah's family had asked him to organise a funeral in France after Algeria rejected the family’s demand for a burial in their ancestral homeland, citing security reasons.
"The family has asked me to organise a funeral within 24 hours," said Zekri, who was speaking in the southwestern city of Toulouse where Merah died last Thursday.
Zekri said he believed that the 23-year-old, who died in a hail of police bullets last Thursday after a 32-hour siege on his Toulouse apartment, would be buried in the Muslim section of the city's Cornebarrieu cemetery.
The body was to have been flown to Algeria on Thursday, his family said on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, French authorities have refused four Muslim preachers permission to enter France.
The four were due to speak at the Union of French Islamic Organisations congress near Paris in April.
Two other preachers, Youssef Qaradaoui and Mahmoud Al Masri, have now decided not to attend the event, according to a joint communiqué from France’s Interior and Foreign ministries.
The communiqué also expressed regret that Oxford-based Swiss intellectual Tariq Ramadan has been invited to the congress.