Relatives gather around the coffin of Mohamed Merah during his funeral ceremony near Toulouse, southern France, Thursday, March 29, 2012. Mohamed Merah is blamed for a series of deadly shootings which have shocked France and upended the country's presidential race. Merah, who claimed allegiance to al-Qaeda, died in a hail of gunfire one week ago after a dramatic 32-hour-long standoff with law enforcement. Algerian authorities said they didn't want to take Mohamed Merah's remains, as his Algerian-born father had wanted. (AP Photo/Marthial Roland)

Toulouse - A gunman who claimed responsibility for France's worst terror attacks in years has been buried.

The burial Thursday night came after days of painful debate about what to do with the body of 23-year-old Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian origin.

His Algerian-born father wanted him buried in Algeria, but authorities there refused the request.

Police say Merah filmed himself killing three schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers earlier this month. Merah, who espoused radical Islam and said he had links to al-Qaida, was shot in the head last week after a standoff with police in Toulouse.

Abdallah Zekri of the French Muslim Council said he was buried in the Muslim section of a cemetery in the Toulouse neighborhood of Cornebarrieu. - Sapa-AP