As officials continue to address countless questions surrounding April’s Boston Marathon bombing, one very important question remains unanswered: where will Tamarlan Tsarnaev be buried?
The 26-year-old suspect was killed in a shootout with police days after the bombing that left three dead and injured hundreds more. Now, cemeteries across Massachusetts are refusing to bury the body.
“I can’t keep playing musical cemeteries,” said Peter Stefan, director of Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors in Worcester, Mass., on Sunday. “Whatever it is, whoever he is, in this country—we bury people. I don’t care who it is. That’s what I do.”
Stefan said many have asked him to send the body to Russia, but that transportation would require permission from the State Department. Tsarnaev’s parents, Aznor and Zubeidat Tsarnaev, live in Dagestan, a Republic in the Caucusus region.
Outside the funeral home, some have protested Stefan’s involvement, calling him “un-American” for handling the burial. One protester held a sign that read: “Bury this terrorist on US soil and we will unbury him.” Another shouted: “Throw him off a boat like Osama bin Laden!”
Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of the Boston bombing suspects, on Sunday washed and shrouded Tsarnaev’s body in line with Muslim tradition. Though he has publicly denounced the actions of his nephews, Tsarni told reporters that he is arranging for Tsarnaev’s burial because religion and tradition call for it.
“No one wants to associate their names with such evil events”, Tsarni told the Associated Press. But he added, “a dead person must be buried.”
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