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Said Kouachi, one of the two brothers who launched a deadly attack against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last week, has been buried in an unmarked grave.

Said Kouachi, 34, was buried secretly late on Friday in the eastern city of Reims, where he had lived before the attack.

The mayor of Reims said he had opposed the burial, fearing a grave could become a shrine, but had been forced to accept it by law.

Attacks in Paris killed 17 people last week, 12 of them at Charlie Hebdo.

On January 9, two days after attacking the magazine, Said Kouachi and his younger brother Cherif were killed by police at an industrial estate north of Paris.

Cherif Kouachi, 32, is expected to be buried in his hometown of Gennevilliers, outside Paris.Said Kouachi buried in secret grave

There has been no announcement on plans for burying Amedy Coulibaly, who killed four people at Jewish supermarket HyperCacher in Paris on January 9 and is suspected of killing a policewoman in the French capital a day earlier.

Earlier in the week, Reims mayor Arnaud Robinet said he would “categorically refuse” a family request for Said Kouachi to be buried in the city.

Arnaud Robinet said he did not want “a tomb that could become a shrine for people to gather around or a pilgrimage site for fanatics”.

However, on January 17 he said he had been forced by the government to accept the burial.

“He was buried last night, in the most discreet, anonymous way possible,” Arnaud Robinet told French TV.

The city said in a statement: “Given the risk of disturbance of the peace and in order to quickly turn the page of this tragic episode, it was decided to do the burial quickly.”

A lawyer for Said Kouachi’s widow said she had not attended the burial for fear that journalists would follow her and the location of the grave would be discovered.

At least three people have been killed by an explosion that partly destroyed a block of flats in the northern French city of Reims, officials say.

Reims Mayor Adeline Hazan told BFM TV that the explosion at the four-storey building was probably caused by a gas leak.

Police said another 14 people were injured, including a number of children.

Images show one end of the building has collapsed.

Adeline Hazan told BFM TV the blast – which happened at 11:15 – had been “very strong” and had shattered windows in other buildings.

At least three people have been killed by an explosion that partly destroyed a block of flats in the northern French city of Reims

At least three people have been killed by an explosion that partly destroyed a block of flats in the northern French city of Reims

Two bodies were brought out of the rubble during the morning. A third was found later by search teams. By Sunday evening, two residents were still thought to be missing.

Ten flats were thought to be affected.

The building, in the Wilson area of Reims, is described as social housing dating back to the 1960s.

It was renovated several years ago but residents said that while the front had been re-painted, no change had been made to the interior structure.

A gas explosion in a flat in nearby Witry-les-Reims in early April left four people from the same family dead.

Housing Minister Cecile Duflot has promised a full inquiry.

“It appears the building was well maintained. All the necessary checks were carried out on the appliances,” Cecile Duflot said.

In a statement, President Francois Hollande sent his condolences to the victims’ families and his solidarity to the city of Reims.

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