Muslim leaders refuse to bury church attacker Kermiche

Credit: Ina Societe/Amaq News Agency

Muslim leaders in Normandy have refused to bury one of the church attackers who murdered a priest during morning mass.

Convicted terrorist Adel Kermiche, 19, and Abdelmalik Petitjean took hostages when they stormed Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray church before being shot dead by police.

Before this the pair filmed themselves slitting the throat of 85-year-old Father Jacques Hamel and seriously wounding another hostage.

Now, one prominent Muslim leader from the town has refused to bury Kermiche in order not to "taint" Islam.

Kermiche (L) and Petitjean pledged allegiance to so-called Islamic State Credit: Amaq News Agency

Speaking to La Parisien, Mohammed Karabila, imam and president of the local Muslim cultural association, said Muslims would not take part in Kermiche's burial - even if requested by his family.

"We won't participate in preparing the body or the burial", he said.

Khalid El Amrani, a 25-year-old local Muslim, said it was "normal" that they did not want to participate in the burial.

"What this young man did was sinful; he is no longer part of the community", he said of Kermiche, who grew up on an estate in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

According to Islamic tradition, Muslim burials should take place as soon as possible after death and be organised by the local Islamic community.

Meanwhile, the funeral of slain priest Father Hamel is set to take place on Tuesday afternoon.

He will not be buried in his local St Etienne, however, but at Rouen Cathedral, according to a church diocese statement.