Jewish victim of Copenhagen shooting buried | News | DW | 18.02.2015
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Jewish victim of Copenhagen shooting buried

The Jewish man shot dead outside a Copenhagen synagogue over the weekend has been laid to rest during a heavily guarded ceremony. The gunman behind the attack is to be buried in a Muslim cemetery.

Hundreds of mourners, including Denmark's prime minister and justice minister, attended the funeral for slain security guard Dan Uzan at a Jewish cemetery in the Danish capital on Wednesday.

Police were out in force during the ceremony, with a large contingent of sniffer dogs at the scene and snipers stationed on nearby rooftops.

"Everybody in our community knew Dan," Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, the head of the Danish Jewish community, told news agency AFP.

"He was always ready to do his part, he was a very fine example for the whole community."

The 37-year-old volunteer security officer was gunned down by Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein late Saturday as he stood guard outside a bat mitzvah in Copenhagen's main synagogue.

Uzan was the second victim of a double shooting attack that shook Copenhagen over the weekend. Just hours earlier, El-Hussein had shot and killed 55-year-old Danish filmmaker Finn Noergaard outside a cultural center that was hosting a free speech event.

'Everyone has a right to be buried'

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt joins mourners from the Jewish community

The perpetrator, 22-year-old Danish native Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, was tracked down and killed in a pre-dawn shootout with police on Sunday.

According to Kasem Said Ahmad of the Danish Islamic Funeral Foundation, El-Hussein's body is yet to be released by police, but his family has asked for him to be buried at one of Copenhagen's Muslim cemeteries.

German news agency DPA reported the burial was expected to take place in the suburb of Brondby. The district's mayor, Ib Terp, told Danish news agency Ritzau, "regardless of what he has done, he has the right to a burial."

Terp added that while he had no objections to the burial taking place in his community, he hoped the grave "does not become a site of pilgrimage."

The gunmen who carried out the deadly attacks on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris last month were buried in secret, in unmarked graves to ensure the sites would not attract fanatical pilgrims.

In the wake of the Copenhagen shootings, Danish security services faced questions over whether proper actions were taken to prepare for possible attacks following the killings in Paris.

Danish authorities said El-Hussein - who was known to police and had previously served time in prison for violence and weapons offenses - may have been inspired by the shootings in the French capital.

nm/kms (dpa, AP, AFP)