Tagged: Trebes

France honors hero cop who died saving hostage in terror attack

(NEW YORK POST) — President Emmanuel Macron led national tributes on Wednesday to the gendarme who switched places with a woman hostage during an attack on a supermarket in southern France last week and was killed by the Islamist militant gunman.

Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame’s heroism has helped reassure a nation left shaken and in mourning after Moroccan-born Radouane Lakdim’s killing spree, an attack that rekindled a debate over how France deals with suspected radical Islamists.

Tributes for Beltrame began with a minute’s silence in gendarme barracks across France, before the gendarme’s Tricolor-draped coffin was driven through Paris in heavy rain to Les Invalides, a former military hospital.

Crowds lined the streets and gendarmes stood to attention as the cortege passed.

In the cobbled courtyard of Les Invalides, Macron solemnly addressed the nation.

“To accept to die so the innocent can live: that is the essence of what it means to be a soldier,” he said. “Others, even many who are brave, would have wavered or hesitated.”

Lakdim’s rampage began when he shot dead the occupant of a car he stole and fired on a group of police joggers, wounding one. He then headed to a supermarket in Trebes, east of the popular medieval tourist city of Carcassonne, where he killed an employee and a customer.

Beltrame, 44, led the team of gendarmes who arrived first on the scene. He persuaded Lakdim to release a woman he was holding as a human shield, laying down his weapon and putting his mobile phone on a table with the line surreptitiously left open.

When three shots later rang out, elite police stormed the building and shot dead Lakdim. Beltrame was found with bullet wounds to an arm and foot and a grave knife wound to the neck.

He died the following morning in hospital.

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Islamic State claims its ‘soldier’ took hostages in southern France

(THE LONG WAR JOURNAL) — By Thomas Joscelyn

French authorities have ended a hostage crisis that began earlier today when an armed man held up a supermarket in Trèbes. The French government has identified the assailant as Redouane Lakdim, who had a criminal past and may have traveled to Syria.

The attacker reportedly killed at least three people during the course of the day’s events. The first victim was killed when he attempted to hijack a car and two more perished inside the supermarket, according to the Associated Press.

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency quickly claimed responsibility for the slayings, saying the perpetrator was a “soldier” of the group who acted in response to calls to target nations participating in the anti-ISIS coalition. France is a member of the international coalition, which has been targeting the so-called caliphate since 2014.

Amaq has employed identical language after attacks in the past, repeatedly claiming that individuals have heeded the Islamic State’s calls for violence inside the West. Amaq did not provided any additional details about the attacker, but initial press reports say he claimed allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s enterprise.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb provided updates on the hostage crisis via his official Twitter feed. Collomb praised the “heroism” of a French officer who volunteered to trade places with one of the hostages, adding that the policeman was “badly wounded.” Collomb told the press that Lakdim acted “alone” and had been shot by the police, according to BFMTV. However, it can often take time for authorities to follow all of the clues in terrorism-related cases. And officials have uncovered ties between jihadists in Europe and Islamic State networks on multiple occasions in the past.

According to BBC News, Lakdim demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, an Islamic State member who acted as a point man for the Nov. 2015 attacks in Paris. Abdeslam is being tried in Belgium on terrorism charges.

Islamic State-connected attacks in France

France has been combating the jihadist threat since the 1990s, but the rise of the Islamic State in 2014 generated a new array of threats.

In Jan. 2015, the Kouachi brothers massacred the staff of Charlie Hebdo at the magazine’s offices in Paris. The Kouachis were openly loyal to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which claimed responsibility for the attack. AQAP had called on jihadists to strike Charlie Hebdo after the publication printed controversial images. AQAP also assisted at least one of the brothers.

Amedy Coulibaly, a friend of the Kouachis, decided to raid a kosher market in Paris around the same time they acted. Coulibaly swore allegiance to the Islamic State in a video he recorded prior to killing a French policewoman and assaulting the market.

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Gunman claiming allegiance to ISIS shot dead after killing three, injuring at least 16 at French supermarket

(NY DAILY NEWS) — A gun-wielding Muslim extremist claiming allegiance to ISIS took multiple hostages at a supermarket in southern France Friday, killing at least three people and injuring another 16 before police shot him dead.

The attacker, identified as 26-year-old Redouane Lakdim, holed up at the Super U in Trèbes, a small city near the Pyrenees Mountains, around 11 a.m.

Lakdim screamed “Allahu akbar” — Arabic for “God is great” — and proclaimed himself a “soldier of the Islamic State” as he stormed into the small-town supermarket.

“You are bombing Syria and you are going to die,” the attacker said before opening fire, one witness who escaped told regional newspaper L’Independent.

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Around 20 shoppers and staff reportedly escaped from the grocery store after running for their lives, though it was uncertain how many hostages were taken during a standoff with police.

The attacker was killed by officers around 2:30 p.m., authorities said, praising one “gravely wounded” police officer who exchanged himself for a hostage during the chaotic standoff.

“He saved lives,” French President Emmanuel Macron said of the officer.

It was not immediately clear where the three victims were, as beyond those shot in the supermarket, investigators believe Lakdim opened fire on people in the nearby Carcassonne and hijacked a car, killing at least one.

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