France mourns police officer slain in attack — The Latest

26 Mars, 2018, 00:41 | Auteur: Lynn Cook
  • Police gather outside a supermarket

Arnaud Beltrame, a French police officer who willingly took the place of a hostage during a standoff with a rampaging gunman Friday in France, died from injuries sustained in the incident on early Saturday.

Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, 44, was shot and stabbed after taking the place of a woman whom Radouane Lakdim had been using as a human shield during his attack Friday at a supermarket in the town of Trebes.

Unbeknownst to the Morocco-born captor, he left his cellphone on so police outside could hear what was happening in the store.

"He was yelling threats at people, 'Everybody on the ground'", Mr Guibbert said. Mr Macron has said security services are checking that claim.

Lt Col Beltrame, who joined France's elite police special forces in 2003 and served in Iraq in 2005, had reportedly organised a training session last December to prepare for hostage situations.

"France will never forget his heroism, his bravery, his sacrifice", Collomb wrote.

President Donald Trump condemned the French attack in a tweet Saturday.

Macron said the investigation should answer several questions - when and how the gunman was radicalized and where he got a weapon.

"He certainly knew he didn't stand a chance", he said.

"He saved lives", Macron told reporters Friday.

The bishop of the nearby medieval city of Carcassonne, Alain Planet, is leading Sunday's mass at the Saint-Etienne-de-Trebes church in the town of Trebes.

Lakdim was armed with a gun, knife and homemade explosive devices, a security source said.

France's top counterterrorism investigators said Ladkim yelled "Allahu akbar" and claimed he was a "soldier of the Islamic State" as he stormed the market.

He also shot and wounded a police officer out jogging.

He added that the horrific slayings have forced everyone to confront the reality of death and suffering across the world, noting turmoil in Sudan, the Middle East and elsewhere.

He was part of a team of gendarmes who were among the first to arrive at the supermarket.

Two people have been detained in the case, one woman close to Lakdim and a 17-year-old male friend. One officer was hit in the shoulder, but the injury wasn't serious, Lefebvre said. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services. His mouth was surrounded by an exaggerated smear of red makeup and his arched eyebrows hung ridiculously high on his forehead.

According to French daily Le Monde, the suspect had shouted that he was affiliated with ISIS and demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, who is standing trial in Belgium for his alleged role in terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group claimed responsibility for the attack. After a two-year posting in Iraq, Beltrame earned the military cross in 2007.

Also found in the search of the home were a computer and telephone, the official said Saturday, a day after the attack.

Citizens put blossoms on the ground outside the barracks in the community of Carcassonne where Mr Beltrame was based.

Since January 2015, more than 230 people have been killed in a string of violent incidents that included the November 2015 Paris attacks, as well as the July 2016 truck attack in Nice, where a driver plowed through crowds celebrating Bastille Day, France's national holiday.

"This was an attack not just on France, but on the free world as one, and to the very values of life and liberty that our society is built on".

"We. are proud to have counted Arnaud Beltrame in our ranks".

The French leader hailed law enforcement's response. Collomb quickly made his way to the scene, as did François Molins, the Paris prosecutor, whose office handles terrorism cases nationwide.

"He was always like that - he's someone who ever since he was born did everything for his country", she told RTL radio.

The mayor of Trebes, Eric Menassi, was equally emotional.