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France Honoring Police Officer Killed After Volunteering to be Hostage

(VOA): France is holding a ceremony Wednesday to honor a police officer who was killed last week after offering to take the place of a hostage during an attack on a supermarket.

President Emmanuel Macron is addressing the ceremony in Paris for Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame. The president has said Beltrame died as a hero.

Earlier Wednesday, police stations across France paused for a minute of silence. That followed an observation of silence Tuesday by lawmakers in the National Assembly.

The gunmen in Friday's attack killed three other people. Authorities identified him as 25-year-old French-Moroccan Radouane Lakdim, and the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the assault.

The attacker first hijacked a car Friday morning near Carcassonne, killing the passenger and wounding the driver. He then drove off in the car and shot into a group of police officers who had been jogging, wounding one of them. 

Next, in Trebes, near Carcassonne, Lakdim walked into the Super U supermarket and killed two people. He held several hostages in the supermarket, where Beltrame volunteered to swap himself for the hostages. 

The gunman agreed and Beltrame kept an open line on his phone so his fellow officers could hear what was going on. When the officers heard more gunshots, they stormed the market, killing the gunman.

(This story has not been edited by N24 staff and is Voice Of America auto-generated from a RSS feed)

Published Date: Thursday, March 29th, 2018 | 12:45 AM

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