13:59 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Republican Guards, Gemdarmes and Cadets from the joint-army military school (Ecole Militaire Interarmes, EMIA) carry the coffin of Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame during a national ceremony at the Hotel des Invalides in Paris, France, March 28, 2018

    Hundreds of Frenchmen Honor Heroic Officer Killed in Supermarket Hostage Crisis

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    PARIS (Sputnik) - Hundreds of French nationals on Wednesday came to pay national tribute to Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, who saved a hostage during the deadly attacks in southern France last week and later died of sustained wounds.

    At about 10 a.m. local time (08:00 GMT) on Wednesday, all National Gendarmerie departments, commissariat departments and prefectures across France observed a moment of silence in honor of Beltrame, who was posthumously declared a national hero. Flags at all state institutions have been ordered to be flown at half-mast.

    READ MORE: Trebes Crisis: Heroic French Policeman Married His Sweetheart on Deathbed

    The national ceremony honoring Beltrame started at 11:30 a.m. local time in the main courtyard of the Invalides monument. Nearly 200 of Beltrame’s colleagues who he had worked with during his career came to pay homage, according to the BFMTV broadcaster.

    French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb was one of the officials who came to commemorate the fallen officer. On Friday, Collomb said on Twitter that France would never forget Beltrame’s "heroism, bravery and sacrifice."

    French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a speech at the ceremony, hailing the Beltrame's bravery and extending his condolences to the officer’s family.

    On Friday, Redouane Lakdim, a Moroccan national 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 local supermarket. Some of the hostages managed to leave the store before a police assault. Beltrame, who had voluntarily exchanged himself for a hostage, was injured in the exchange of fire and later succumbed to his wounds.


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