International

After Controversy, Toulouse Gunman Buried In France

A sign on the ground marks the place for municipal workers to dig in Cornebarrieu cemetery, a Toulouse suburb in southwestern France. i

A sign on the ground marks the place for municipal workers to dig in Cornebarrieu cemetery, a Toulouse suburb in southwestern France. Eric Cabanis /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Cabanis /AFP/Getty Images
A sign on the ground marks the place for municipal workers to dig in Cornebarrieu cemetery, a Toulouse suburb in southwestern France.

A sign on the ground marks the place for municipal workers to dig in Cornebarrieu cemetery, a Toulouse suburb in southwestern France.

Eric Cabanis /AFP/Getty Images

At first, his family wanted the body of Mohamed Merah sent back to Algeria. Then after the country refused Merah's body, French authorities settled on burying him in Toulouse, where he was suspected of killing seven before he was shot and killed after a two-day siege of his apartment.

According to France 24, the city's mayor halted the burial saying it was "inappropriate."

But French President Nicolas Sarkozy stepped in.

"He was French," Sarkozy said, according to France 24. "Let's just bury him and be done with it."

According to the AP, on Thursday night "after days of painful debate" about what to do with the 23-year-old's body, Merah was buried in the "Muslim section of a cemetery in the Toulouse neighborhood of Cornebarrieu."

The BBC reports that Merah confessed to the killings, including gunning down a rabbi and three children.

"Merah is said to have told police he wanted to avenge Palestinian children and to attack the French army because of its foreign interventions," the BBC reports.

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