By Courtney Trenwith
The second brother involved in the attack that killed 12 people on January 7 also has been buried, as the suspected mastermind of a jihadist cell is on the run in Belgium after the group was raided
Planned anti-Islamic rallies have been banned in France and Germany as 10 people were killed in similar protests in Niger and the second brother involved in the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was secretly buried.
French police also have released three people detained last Friday on suspicion they may have provided assistance to the Kouachi brothers, who killed 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris on January 7.
Cherif Kouachi was buried with an unmarked grave in a cemetery outside Paris, a day after the funeral of his older brother Said in the northeastern city of Reims. The brothers were shot dead by police after a three-day manhunt following their attack on the magazine, which had repeatedly published cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Police said the unmarked graves were designed to ensure they did not become “a pilgrimage site” for radical Islamists.
Their suspected accomplice Amedy Coulibaly also was shot dead by police after killing four Jews in a siege at a kosher supermarket in Paris on January 9.
A French court has banned anti-Islamic protests from taking place in the wake of the attack, while a poll conducted by Le Journal du Dimanche found 42 percent of French people thought publications should avoid running cartoons of Prophet Muhammad and 50 percent favoured limiting freedom of expression on the Internet and social networks.
German police also have banned a rally by the anti-Islamic PEGIDA movement, which has been drawing increasingly large numbers of people since it started in October. About 25,000 people attended a rally on January 12.
In Belgium, a man suspected to be the mastermind of a plot to kill police is on the run after his group was busted by intelligence services.
Two suspected members of the cell were shot dead in a gun battle with police during the raid, local authorities said.
Meanwhile, at least 10 people are believed to have been killed and eight churches torched over two days of rioting in response to Charlie Hebdo publishing further offending cartoons last week.
Charlie Hebdo’s chief editor has defended the cartoons, AFP reported. The weekly magazine has sold 2.7 million copies of the post-killings “survivors’ issue” in France alone and said it would extend its print run to seven million copies - up from only 60,000 normally.