‘Shrine’ fears as Charlie Hebdo killer buried

ONE of the terrorists responsible for the attacks in Paris that killed 17 people has been buried in the French city of Reims, despite fears his grave could become a shrine for ­extremists.
Belgian para-commandos patrol near a synagogue in Antwerp. Picture: APBelgian para-commandos patrol near a synagogue in Antwerp. Picture: AP
Belgian para-commandos patrol near a synagogue in Antwerp. Picture: AP

Said Kouachi, the elder of the two brothers who murdered 12 people at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, was buried against the wishes of local officials but on the orders of the French government which wished to avoid further disturbance.

A statement from the city council said: “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.”

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Earlier in the week the mayor of Reims, Arnaud Robinet, said he would “categorically refuse” a request by Kouachi’s family to bury him in the city, 89 miles east of Paris, where he lived before being shot dead with his brother by police on 9 January.

There has been no word of plans for burying Amedy Coulibaly, who killed five people including four hostages at a kosher market in Paris before he was killed by police also on 9 January.

In Scotland a member of the Jewish community said they were “concerned but not panicking” following an announcement on Friday from the Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, national policing lead for counter terrorism, that there was heightened concern about the risk of attacks on the Jewish community in Britain.

In a statement from Police Scotland, DCC Iain Livingstone said: “There is currently no information in respect of a threat to any individual or community. However, we are of course assessing the impact of recent events in Europe and responding accordingly. We are liaising closely with our communities, including the Jewish community, to provide reassurance to them at this time.

“We are also conducting high visibility patrols in and around potentially vulnerable areas. These arrangements are ongoing and subject to reassessment.”

Meanwhile, Greek authorities arrested four people suspected of being involved in a terrorist plot to kill police officers in Belgium yesterday.

The arrests in Athens came after Belgian police killed two suspected terrorists during a shoot out in the eastern city of Verviers on Thursday. Belgium has increased its terror warning to 3, the second-highest, following the anti-­terror raids.

Some 150 paratroopers were watching synagogues in Antwerp, the Jewish Museum in Brussels and other selected building across the nation.

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Meanwhile, yesterday rioters burned at least seven churches in Niamey, Niger, over the publication of a prophet Mohammed cartoon on the cover of Charlie Hebdo. Bars, hotels and various businesses under non-Muslim ownership or bearing signs of French companies were also targeted.