France hails martyred police officer as hero

officer was honored on Saturday as a national hero

Even as France mourns death of civilians in the deadly terror attack by a lone gunman in a mall of south of France, people and leadership of France have hailed the heroism of a French police officer who gave himself up in exchange of a hostage being released and later died.

The officer was honored on Saturday as a national hero who displayed exceptional courage and selflessness.

Identified as Col. Arnaud Beltrame, he was among the first officers to respond to the attack.

As he was trained in rescue missions in hostage situation, it was slightly different situation when he walked inside the mall and offered himself to the Islamic extremist so that a female hostage could go free.

The police officer had left his mobile phone on to allow the police team outside hear what was going on inside the mall.

By the time they decided to storm the building, the officer Beltrame had been fatally wounded.

His death raises the toll to four. The gunman was also killed, and 15 people were injured in the attack.

Beltrame was married but had no children.

Meanwhile French President Macron has said investigators will probe on how the terrorist laid his hands on the weapon and how he became radicalized.

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