City officials in Reims posits that one of the terrorists responsible for attacks last week that killed 17 people was buried in the eastern French city over their objections as well as despite concerns that the grave could become a shrine for extremists. Associated Press reports:
Said Kouachi, the elder of the two brothers who together gunned down 12 people Jan. 7 in their attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, was buried at the demand of the French government, officials in Reims said in a statement Saturday.
“Given the risk of disturbance of the peace and in order to quickly turn the page of this tragic episode, it was decided to do the burial quickly,” the city said.
Earlier in the week Reims Mayor Arnaud Robinet said he’d “categorically refuse” a request by Kouachi’s family to bury him in Reims, 144 kilometers (89 miles) east of Paris, where he lived before police killed him and his brother Jan. 9. “I don’t want a grave that serves to attract fanatics. I don’t want a place that promotes hate,” Robinet said in an interview on France Info radio Thursday.
Speaking Saturday on BFM TV, Robinet said he’d been forced to allow the burial by the government, which enforced a French law that grants a right to be buried in the town of last residence.