French hostage swap officer 'fighting for life'

24 March, 2018, 14:15 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Gunman Takes Hostages in France in Possible Terrorist Attack

A French policeman who took the place of a hostage during a terror attack at a supermarket has died of his injuries.

The gunman - 25-year-old Redouane Lakdim - said he had been acting on behalf of the Islamic State group.

One police officer was injured in the shoulder but is not in a life-threatening condition, Mr Lefebvre said.

Sixteen people were injured, two seriously, in what Mr Macron called an act of "Islamist terrorism".

More than 240 people have been killed in France in attacks since 2015 by assailants who pledged allegiance to Isis or were inspired by the group.

The attacker, whose rampage began when he fired on a group of police joggers and also shot the occupants of a vehicle he stole, killed three people and injured 16 others on Friday, according to a government readout. Several other people were also shot and wounded in the country's first major militant attack since October.

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Approximately 11.15am: Gunshots are reported at a Super U supermarket in the town of Trebes as Lakdim storms in, taking hostages. He took several others hostage.

Witnesses said about 20 people in the supermarket found refuge in its cold storage room.

"A man shouted and fired several times", she told France info radio.

"There were 10 of us, and we stayed an hour".

Despite this, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said there was "no warning sign" that Lakdim would carry out an attack.

Beltrame offered to exchange himself for one of the female hostages held inside the Super U supermarket during the attack, and was shot while entering the supermarket.

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Officials said once they heard shots inside the market they chose to storm it, killing the gunman. The gunman was killed but Arnaud Beltrame was seriously injured.

He has been named as Arnaud Beltrame - a hero lieutenant-colonel knighted the Legion of Honor in May 2012. "I express in my own name and that of the entire Commission all our feelings and our full support to the French authorities and French people", Juncker said.

President Emmanuel Macron said the terror threat in France "remains high" because of "radicalised individuals identified as risky who are being closely followed". Here's what we know.

Molins says Lakdim was born in Morocco.

In Brussels, German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared with Macron and said, "When it comes to terrorist threats, we stand by France". While speaking at a European Union (EU) summit in Brussels, President Macron said the incidents were "terrorists" in nature and added that he would soon return to Paris to take an action upon it. He had previous convictions for illegally carrying a firearm and possessing drugs. The 26-year-old Lakdim was known to police for petty crimes but they did not believe he had been radicalized.

Lakdim was described by a neighbour as a "pleasant young man" who lived with his parents and sisters, taking the youngest children to school every day.

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None of the seven candidates who ran against Putin posed a threat, and opposition leader Alexei Navalny was barred from running. With leading rival Aleskei Navalny kept out, the election was a formality.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa expressed his condolences to the family and friends of the victim in a statement published late Friday on the presidency website.

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