Earlier in the day, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said that the gendarme had died of wounds sustained during the recent hostage crisis in the town of Trebes.
“President of the Republic [Emmanuel Macron] decided that national honors will be paid to Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame who gave his life to defend our citizens,” the Saturday statement read.
A series of attacks hit Aude on Friday. A 26-year-old Moroccan national, Redouane Lakdim, who was living in Carcassonne and reportedly obtained a French citizenship in 2015, hijacked a car, wounding the driver and killing the passenger, to drive to Trebes where he took people hostage at a supermarket. Some of the hostages managed to leave the supermarket before a police assault.
Beltrame, who had arrived at the site of the incident, swapped places with a female hostage. Lakdim opened fire on the officer, who suffered heavy wounds. The police later stormed the building of the supermarket and shot down the attacker.
Macron described the attack as an act of "Islamic terrorism," while noting that the claims by the Islamic State* terrorist group of being behind the attacks had not been verified so far.
*Islamic State is a terror organization also known as Daesh, IS, ISIS or ISIL and banned in Russia and many countries around the world.