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French Policeman Who Took Place Of Hostage Dies After Terror Attack


Man Takes Hostages In Southern France
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WATCH: Man Takes Hostages In Southern France

French authorities said on March 24 that a policeman who swapped himself for a hostage and was seriously wounded during a terror attack in southern France has died of his injuries.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said in a tweet that Colonel Arnaud Beltrame "died for his country."

Three other people were killed and 16 injured by a gunman involved in the shooting and hostage-taking incident that authorities said was a terrorist attack on March 23, national police said.

Authorities said the 25-year-old attacker was also killed as police stormed a supermarket where hostages were being held in a four-hour standoff in the town of Trebes, 100 kilometers southeast of Toulouse.

"Our country has suffered an Islamist terrorist attack," President Emmanuel Macron said in a televised address following a claim by the Islamic State militant group that it was responsibility for the violence.

News agencies quoted security personnel as identifying the gunman as Redouane Lakdim, a French citizen born in Morocco, calling him a small-time drug dealer with a history of minor crimes.

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

Officers said there were about 50 people in the market at the time.

Before the rampage in the supermarket, the suspect attacked police in the nearby city of Carcassonne, according to Yves Lefebvre, head of SGP Police-FO police union.

Bruno Bartocetti, the regional representative of the police union, said the suspect shot dead a person in Carcassonne.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa, and AP
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