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French Policeman Praised For Swapping Himself With Hostage During Terror Attack

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French Policeman Praised For Swapping Himself With Hostage During Terror Attack

Redouane Lakdim stormed into a French supermarket yesterday and took several hostages.

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It quickly emerged that the Moroccan man had pledged allegiance to Islamic State and was reportedly seeking revenge for Syria - demanding the release of Salah Abdeslam, the last surviving member of the group that organised the 2015 Paris attacks.

Before he sparked the hostage situation, he shot a person and stole their car in nearby Carcassonne. On his way to the Trebes supermarket in France's south-west, he passed a group of four police officers and shot one in the shoulder.

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When the 26-year-old took control of the store, he reportedly yelled 'Allahu Akbar' and shot dead a customer and employee. He let some hostages go, but held onto one woman to use as a human shield.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

That's where Arnaud Beltrame came in.

The 45-year-old lieutenant-colonel bravely stepped into the store and kept a phone on him so his fellow officers could hear what was going on in the store. Mr Beltrame calmly spoke with Lakdim and offered to take the woman's place to ensure her safety.

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Sadly, the lieutenant-colonel was shot several times in the throat and died at the scene.

French President Emmanuel Macron said: "He saved lives, and honours his duty and our country.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"He died for his country.

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

Macron also wanted to calm fears about a possible resurgence of terror attacks that France experienced in 2015 and 2016.

"I want to tell the nation tonight of my absolute determination in leading this fight," he told his country.

Arnaud Beltrame. Credit: PA
Arnaud Beltrame. Credit: PA
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"I urge our fellow French citizens to remain aware of the terrorist threat, but to also be aware of the force and resistance our people demonstrated each and every time it was attacked."

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb says Ladkim was known for petty crime and it's believed he acted alone in the Trebes attack.

He added: "We had monitored him and thought there was no radicalisation. He was known for possession of drugs, we couldn't have said that he was a radical that would carry out an attack."

Salah Abdeslam remains in solitary confinement in a prison near Paris but he still hasn't been convicted yet of the 2015 attacks. His suicide bomb vest failed to explode outside the Stade de France and helped coordinate the series of incidents in which 137 people were killed and more than 400 were injured.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Attack, World News, News, terror, France, Terrorist

Stewart Perrie
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