The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

May 6, 2013

Uncle arranging Boston bomb suspect's burial rites

WORCESTER, Mass. — The uncle of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev arrived in Massachusetts on Sunday to arrange for his burial, saying he understands that "no one wants to associate their names with such evil events."

Ruslan Tsarni, of Montgomery Village, Md., and three of his friends met with the Worcester funeral home director and prepared to wash and shroud Tsarnaev's body according to Muslim tradition. The 26-year-old died after a gun battle with police on April 19.

Funeral director Peter Stefan said he hasn't been able to find a cemetery in Massachusetts willing to take the 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 says it would not be in the best interest of the city to execute a deed for a plot at Cambridge Cemetery.

"The difficult and stressful efforts of the citizens of the City of Cambridge to return to a peaceful life would be adversely impacted by the turmoil, protests, and wide spread media presence at such an interment," Healy said.

He said the families who have loved ones interred at the cemetery also deserve to have their deceased family members rest in peace. He 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.

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.

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