French cop who swapped himself for hostage dies

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Immediately after the event, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

First, he hijacked a auto near Carcassonne, in southern France, Friday morning, killing the passenger and wounding the driver.

In 2017, he was named deputy chief of the Gendarmerie Nationale in the French region of Aude, home to the medieval town of Carcassonne, where Lakdim began his deadly shooting spree on Friday.

Representatives from the Muslim community attended the mass. He also paid tribute to three other victims: a retiree, a butcher and a former winemaker.

The bishop of Carcassonne and Narbonne, Alain Planet, hailed Beltrame's "extraordinary act, extraordinary devotion". He said his group's research showed that almost 70 per cent of the terrorist incidents and plots perpetrated or hatched in France in 2017 were ultimately against police or military personnel. "They are very aware of this sadness, which affects them as well". All of France is unhappy.

France has been on high alert since a series of extremist attacks in 2015 and 2016 that killed more than 200 people.

Poussier described by "what an idiot" the gendarme who "had fallen as a hero", as French President Emmanuel Macron said.

Following the worst jihadist attack of his presidency, Macron has called a meeting later this week of the security services who monitor individuals suspected of radicalisation. "His example must inspire us in our everyday duty", Lizurey told reporters afterwards. He had been on an extremist watch list, but authorities believed he was not a threat.

Arnaud Beltrame, 44, a gendarme who once served in Iraq, had been raced to hospital fighting for his life after being shot by the gunman during the siege at the Super U store in the southwestern town of Trebes near the Pyrenees mountains.

The four-hour drama began at 10:13 a.m. when Lakdim hijacked a vehicle near Carcassonne, killing one person in the auto and wounding the other, the prosecutor said.

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The attacker's rampage began when he shot the occupant of a auto he stole and fired on a group of police joggers, wounding one.

The gunman who killed three people in south-west France before being shot dead by police was a 25-year-old small-time drug dealer with a history of minor crimes. The passenger was killed and the Portuguese driver was left in critical condition.

Police killed the gunman after he had shot and stabbed Beltrame, who died of his injuries early on Saturday (March 24).

March 24 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump on Saturday denounced the French Supermarket attack which left five people dead.

Lakdim, a Moroccan-born French national, fit a familiar profile as a petty criminal who had turned to extremism.

Lakdim was known to police for robbery and drug trafficking. He spent a month in jail in 2016. His companion and a 17-year-old presented as one of his friends were placed in custody, extended for 48 hours Sunday.

The rap sheet against Radouane Lakdim, a French citizen born in Morocco according to sources close to the inquiry, eventually drew deeper scrutiny by investigators anxious he was at risk of Islamic radicalisation.

Lakdim reportedly wanted police to release Salah Abdeslam, the terrorist who survived after killing 130 people in Paris in November 2015.

Daesh claimed Friday's attack was in response to its call to target Western enemies, as is customary when the assailant has pledged allegiance to the terror group.