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TOULOUSE

Algeria refuses to take gunman Merah’s body

The Islamist gunman branded a "monster" by President Nicolas Sarkozy will be buried in France because Algeria refused to let him be buried there, a Muslim official said Thursday.

Algeria refuses to take gunman Merah's body

Abdallah Zekri of the Paris Grand Mosque said Mohamed Merah’s family had asked him to organise a funeral in France after Algeria cited security reasons for rejecting their request for him to be buried in their ancestral homeland.

“The family has asked me to organise a funeral within 24 hours,” said Zekri, who was speaking in the southwestern city of Toulouse where Merah died last Thursday.

Zekri said he believed that the 23-year-old, who died in a hail of police bullets last Thursday after a 32-hour siege on his Toulouse apartment, would be buried in the Muslim section of the city’s Cornebarrieu cemetery.

The body had been due to be flown to Algeria on Thursday, his family said Wednesday.

Merah boasted before he died that he gunned down three soldiers, three Jewish schoolchildren and a teacher in three separate attacks.

AIRLINE

New flights to south of France launched by Jet2

The low-cost British airline Jet2 has announced it will begin operating new services between the UK and southern France, starting in the summer of 2022.

New flights to south of France launched by Jet2
Flights will operate from May 1st 2022. Photo: AFP

When travelling is possible again, getting to Toulouse from the north-west of England is set to become much easier with the launch of new flights from Manchester Airport.

Jet2 already flies to Bergerac, La Rochelle and Nice. The company announced the new destination in response to demand for summer 2022 holidays.

Flights to the “Pink City” in south west France will operate from May 1st until October 16th 2022.

“Since putting our Summer 2022 programme on sale from Manchester Airport, we have added a significant number of flights and destinations in response to the demand from customers who want to get their all-important holidays booked in,” Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said in a press release.

Since the British government announced a lockdown roadmap on Tuesday, with plans to end England restrictions by June 21st, the company has begun to see a surge in bookings.

READ ALSO: Will summer holidays in France be possible this year?

However the present rules on entry into France from the UK are the strictest they have ever been, with virtually no travel allowed between the two countries and no end-date to the current restrictions.

Jet2 plans to reopen its services in mid-May.

“Following the UK government announcement that international travel will not return until May 17th 2021 at the earliest, we have taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 16th May 2021,” Jet2 said on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/jet2tweets/status/1364188796506562561

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