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French gunman’s family divided over burial site


The family of Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah is divided about whether to have him buried him France or in Algeria, media reports said Monday.

Le Parisien daily quoted a member of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) as saying that one of Merah's brothers claimed he had expressed a desire to be buried in France but that his mother wanted him to be interred in Algeria.

Merah was killed by police during a shootout Thursday after a 32-hour standoff. The self-described 'mujahideen', who claimed links to al-Qaeda, admitted to killing seven people between March 11 and 19.

Le Parisien quoted the CFCM's Abdallah Zekri as saying Merah's mother feared his grave would be defiled if he were buried in France.

Others have expressed fear his grave could become a shrine for Islamists.

Both Merah's parents were born in Algeria. His father, who divorced his mother when Merah was a boy, returned to live in the country. Merah himself was born and raised in France.

His attacks, particularly his execution-style killing of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school last week, caused deep trauma in France, where the last major terrorist attacks dated to the mid-1990s.

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