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."
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Tsarnaev, who had appeared in surveillance photos wearing a black cap and was identified as Suspect No. 1, died days after the April 15 bombing at the marathon finish line, which killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. His 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, was captured.Skip to next paragraph
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Stefan said he has received calls from people criticizing him and calling him "un-American" for being willing to handle Tamerlan Tsarnaev's funeral.
"We take an oath to do this. Can I pick and choose? No. Can I separate the sins from the sinners? No," he said. "We are burying a dead body. That's what we do."
A half dozen protesters gathered outside the funeral home Sunday holding signs and American flags and chanting "USA!" One sign read: "Do not bury him on U.S. soil." Several people drove by the funeral home earlier Sunday and yelled, including one man who shouted, "Throw him off a boat like Osama bin Laden!" The al-Qaida leader was buried at sea after Navy SEALs killed him in a raid on his compound in Pakistan.
The state medical examiner ruled that Tsarnaev died from gunshot wounds and blunt trauma to his head and torso, and authorities have said his brother ran him over in a chaotic getaway attempt. Stefan said Sunday that the family won't request that an independent medical examiner perform a second autopsy, but representatives from the family's legal team might photograph Tsarnaev's body before it's washed.
Tsarni has denounced the acts his nephews are accused of committing and has said they brought shame to the family and the entire Chechen community. The brothers are ethnic Chechens from Russia who came to the United States about a decade ago with their parents. Both parents returned to Dagestan in southern Russia last year.
Tsarni said Sunday that he hopes to eventually see Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is in a prison hospital and faces a potential death sentence if convicted of the terrorism plot.
"This is another person left all to himself," he said.
Also on Sunday, the FBI conducted a court-authorized search in Cambridge as part of its ongoing investigation into the bombings, said Jason Pack, a supervisory special agent in the FBI's press office. He declined to elaborate further.
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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.