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Tsarnaev body: Protests over US burial for bombing suspect (+video)

Tsarnaev body: Funeral director Peter Stefan says no cemetery in Massachusetts is willing to take Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body. Protestors outside the funeral home held signs, "Do not bury him on U.S. soil."

By Denise LavoieAssociated Press / May 6, 2013


Worcester, Mass.

A funeral director trying to find a cemetery to take the body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is going next to the city where Tsarnaev lived, but will run into another obstacle: It doesn't want him.

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The dilemma over where to bury the 26-year-old suspect comes as a friend of his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev heads to court Monday for a bail hearing on charges that he lied to federal investigators after the bombings.

Funeral director Peter Stefan said he hasn't been able to find a cemetery in Massachusetts willing to take Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body. He said he plans to ask the city of Cambridge, where Tsarnaev lived, to provide a burial plot, and if Cambridge turns him down, he will seek help from state officials.

Cambridge City Manager Robert Healy said in a statement Sunday there has been no formal application for a burial permit or purchase of a cemetery plot. He said he is urging Tsarnaev's family and the funeral director who has the body not to request a burial permit for the city-owned Cambridge Cemetery.

Healy said the city "would be adversely impacted by the turmoil, protests, and wide spread media presence at such an interment." He said the families who have loved ones interred at the cemetery also deserve to have their deceased family members rest in peace.

Healey said other federal agencies should take the lead in the burial.

Stefan did not immediately return a call Sunday night seeking comment on Healy's statement.

Ruslan Tsarni arrived Sunday with three of his friends and prepared to wash and shroud his nephew's body according to Muslim tradition. The 26-year-old died after a gun battle with police on April 19.

Tsarni, of Maryland, said he understands that "no one wants to associate their names with such evil events."

Tsarni told reporters that he is arranging for Tsarnaev's burial because religion and tradition call for his nephew to be buried. He would like him buried in Massachusetts because he's lived in the state for the last decade, he said.

"I'm dealing with logistics. A dead person must be buried," he said.

He said he was grateful to Stefan for agreeing to arrange the burial and to his friends for accompanying him to Massachusetts to aid with the funeral.

"These are my friends who feel for me ... as I do understand no one wants to associate their names with such evil events," he said.

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