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WORCESTER, Mass. – The uncle of a Boston Marathon bombing suspect killed in a gun battle with police arrived at a funeral home Sunday to arrange for his burial.
Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., and three other men met with Worcester funeral home director Peter Stefan. The men who accompanied Tsarni plan to wash and perform Muslim burial rites on the body of 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Stefan said.
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, which killed three people and injured more than 260 others.
Stefan said he still hasn't found a cemetery that is willing to bury Tsarnaev. He plans to ask the city of Cambridge, where Tsarnaev lived, to provide a burial plot, Stefan said, and if Cambridge turns him down, he will seek help from state officials.
Stefan said protesters have gathered outside his business in recent days, upset with his decision to handle the funeral. But he believes everybody deserves a dignified burial service, no matter the circumstances of his or her death, he said. No protesters were camped outside the funeral home Sunday.
Tsarni has denounced the acts that his nephews — Tamerlan and younger brother Dzhokhar — are accused of committing and has said they brought shame to the family and the entire Chechen ethnicity. 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 last year.
Dzhokhar, 19, is in a prison hospital, facing a potential death sentence if convicted of the terrorism plot.