Algeria Refuses To Let Toulouse Gunman's Body Into The Country For Burial

Mohammed Merah

Photo: France 2 via Ivan Valerio

Algerian authorities have denied Toulouse shooter Mohamed Merah’s family permission to bury his body in Algeria, citing security concerns, the BBC reports.

The family wanted to hold the funeral in Essouagui, a village in the province of Medea,50 miles south of the capital, Algiers, but will now bury the body on Thursday afternoon in the Muslim section of Toulouse’s Cornebarrieu cemetery, according to AFP.

Algeria had probably hoped to finish the rites with as little fanfare as possible, but the constant media scrutiny and public opinion made them reconsider their decision to allow the burial altogether, Le Monde reports.

But experts who have spoken to the paper say that since his parents are Algerian, Merah automatically has Algerian citizenship and Algiers should not be able to prevent his family from bringing his body there.

Abdallah Zekri of the French Muslim Council said he believed the body would be buried in an anonymous grave and that “the family wants a burial that is the most simple and discreet as possible” in keeping with their fear that his grave would be “vandalised” its whereabouts became public. “The family is disappointed, but at the same time it understands,” Zekri said.

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