الإثنين , يونيو 15 2020

Second Paris gunman buried in secret

Police picture of Cherif Kouachi (right) and Said KouachiSaid Kouachi (left) and Cherif Kouachi killed 12 people in their attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices

Cherif Kouachi, one of the gunmen who launched a deadly attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, has been buried in an unmarked grave amid tight security.

Kouachi was buried overnight in his hometown, Paris suburb Gennevilliers, a local official said.

His brother and accomplice Said Kouachi was buried late on Friday in the eastern city of Reims.

The Reims mayor had opposed the burial but was forced to accept it by law.

The brothers attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo on 7 January, killing 12 people. They were killed by police two days later during a standoff at an industrial estate north of Paris.

Both brothers have been buried in unmarked graves to prevent them from becoming shrines for Islamists.

There has been no announcement on plans for burying Amedy Coulibaly, who killed four people at a Jewish supermarket in Paris on 9 January and is suspected of killing a policewoman in the French capital a day earlier.

An official from the Gennevilliers mayor’s office told AFP that no relatives had attended Cherif Kouachi’s burial. The grave was unmarked amid concerns it could become “a pilgrimage site” for jihadists, the official said.

Earlier in the week, Reims mayor Arnaud Robinet said he would “categorically refuse” a family request for Said Kouachi to be buried in the city.

However on Saturday he said he had been forced by the government to accept the burial. The burial was conducted “in the most discreet, anonymous way possible,” he told French TV.

French law gives residents of a town the right to a burial there.

A lawyer for Said Kouachi’s widow said she had not attended the burial for fear that journalists would follow her and the location of the grave would be discovered.

French soldiers and police patrol at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy-en-France, north of Paris, 17 January 2015Extra soldiers and police officers have been deployed to protect vulnerable sites in France

Almost 15,000 extra police and troops have been mobilised to boost security across France since the attacks.

Soldiers have also been sent onto the streets in neighbouring Belgium, where officials said they had foiled a possible attack against the police when they shot dead two suspects on Thursday in the eastern city of Verviers.

Some 150 soldiers were deployed in Brussels and Antwerp on Saturday, a number that is expected to double over the coming week.

Meanwhile, there have been protests in several countries against a cartoon in this week’s edition of Charlie Hebdo depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

People run past a police truck set on fire by protesters during a demonstration against French weekly Charlie Hebdo's publication of a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, in front of the grand mosque in Niamey, Niger, 17 January 2015 There have been protests in Niger over the latest edition of Charlie Hebdo

In Niger, at least 10 people have been killed in violent protests against the magazine.

Churches were set on fire in the capital, Niamey, and in the city of Zinder.

Distributors for Charlie Hebdo magazine announced on Saturday that seven million copies of the latest edition would be printed in view of extraordinary demand.

Copies in France sold out quickly when they were first distributed on Wednesday.

The magazine’s print run before the attack was 60,000.

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