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Boston Marathon bomb suspect buried in Virginia

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (L), 26, is pictured in 2010 in Lowell, Massachusetts, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is pictured in an undated FB
Tamerlan Tsarnaev (L), 26, is pictured in 2010 in Lowell, Massachusetts, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is pictured in an undated FB

By Gary Robertson

RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been buried in a Muslim cemetery in Virginia, after authorities spent a week searching for a final resting place for the ethnic Chechen's remains.

The body of Tsarnaev, who was killed in an April 19 shootout with police, was moved earlier this week from the Graham Putnam & Mahoney funeral home in Worcester, Massachusetts, police there said on Thursday.

The funeral home had faced unrelenting protests over the past week as it struggled to find a cemetery willing to accept the body.

The controversy, however, appeared not have ended on Friday. Officials from Caroline County, Virginia, where the cemetery is located, said they were reviewing the burial to make sure it was legal.

Floyd Thomas, chairman of the Caroline County Board of Supervisors, said, "We don't want the county to be known as the place where the remains of someone who committed this crime are buried. But if it was done legally, there is nothing much we can do about it."

Tsarnaev, 26, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, were suspected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of setting off bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, killing three people and injuring 264. Dzhokhar is in a prison west of Boston after being charged with crimes that could carry the death penalty if he is convicted.

On Friday, the city of Boston released an updated death certificate for Tsarnaev showing that he was buried in Al-Barzakh Muslim Cemetery in Doswell, Virginia, outside Richmond.

Ammar Amonette, imam of the Virginia Islamic center, said he disapproved of the decision.

"It was done by individuals without our knowledge or consent," Amonette said. "We are quite upset. It's affected thousands of Muslims and we were not consulted. It has nothing to do with us."

Thomas said if any laws had been broken "we would try to undo what has been done."

Representatives of another Islamic center in the area, the Islamic Society of Greater Richmond, could not immediately be reached.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen who lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for much of the past decade, had been on a U.S. government database of potential terrorism suspects. The United States had twice been warned by Russia that he might be an Islamic militant, according to U.S. security officials.

His body was moved from the Boston medical examiner's office to the Worcester funeral home, but his family did not claim the body and the cities of Boston and Cambridge refused to accept his remains.

Worcester police said on Thursday a person had approached them with a solution for the body after a public plea for help. Police withheld the identify of that person.

(Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Grant McCool, Toni Reinhold)

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