- French police officer Arnaud Beltrame who exchanged himself for a hostage in a terror attack at a supermarket in Trèbes, southern France, has died in hospital.
- Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said he ‘died for his country’ and praised his ‘heroism and bravery.’
- Brings the death toll to four.
The police officer who exchanged himself for a hostage during a supermarket siege in southwest France on Friday has died in hospital.
Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, 45, died overnight of gunshot wounds, Reuters reports.
Interior Minister Gérard Collomb first announced Beltrame’s death in a Tweet early on Saturday, he said: “He died for his country. France will never forget his heroism, his bravery, his sacrifice.”
President Macron has since paid tribute to Beltrame, and extended his condolences to his widow, relatives, and brothers in a Tweet. He called upon “every Frenchman to honour his memory.”
Beltrame voluntarily offered himself up as a substitute for the last remaining hostage, according to Sky News. He is said to have left his mobile phone on a table so that his colleagues could hear what was going on inside.
Tha attacker has been identified as 25-year-old Moroccan-born Redouane Lakdim, who was shot dead by police in the hostage standoff in Trèbes.
Beltrame’s death brings the number of people killed in the attack to four. Two of the other victims were inside the supermarket, while the third was killed earlier in the day during a carjacking in the nearby town of Carcassonne.
According to local officials, the attacker shouted “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” before opening fire in the supermarket at about 11 a.m. Friday. He reportedly demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, the sole living suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks, as part of a negotiation with authorities.
Lakdim was known to the police for petty crime but was not a suspected jihadist.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Reuters.