French supermarket attack: Now being hailed as the hero of France, Colonel Arnaud Beltrame was the brave police officer who saved a hostage in the siege and that too without even once thinking about his life.
French supermarket attack: Now being hailed as the hero of France, Colonel Arnaud Beltrame was the brave police officer who saved a hostage in the siege and that too without even once thinking about his life. On March 23, when a gunman fired relentlessly in French supermarket, Col.Beltrame despite suffering severe injuries, sacrificed himself for his country. On Friday, 25-year-old radical Islamist gunman, Redouane Lakdim first hijacked a car and opened fire on police. He then took hostages inside a supermarket. He reportedly dumped the hijacked vehicle in the parking of a supermarket before storming into the Super U store, and shooting dead a shop worker and a customer.
Lakdim was reportedly seen holding a handgun and a knife screaming “Allahu Akbar” and ordering people to get on the ground. The police that arrived shortly after the siege took place managed to get some of the people out of the store. But, the attacker kept one woman hostage to use as a human shield. It was then that Col.Beltrame offered to take the woman’s place as the hostage and remained holed up with Lakdim while negotiations to end the standoff continued. Beltrame also left his cellphone on so that the police outside could hear what was happening inside the store.
Sixteen people were injured, two seriously, in what the President of France called an act of “Islamist terrorism”, the BBC reported. Announcing the Lt-Col Arnaud Beltrame’s death on Twitter, Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said: “He died for his country. France will never forget his heroism, his bravery, his sacrifice. Lakdim was said to have demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, the most important surviving suspect in November 13, 2015, attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people.
One person – believed to be Lakdim’s partner – has been arrested in connection with the shootings. The IS-linked Aamaq news agency said the attacker was responding to the group’s calls to target countries in the US-led coalition carrying out airstrikes against IS militants in Syria and Iraq since 2014. France has been repeatedly targeted because of its participation. France has been on high alert since a series of extremist attacks in 2015 and 2016 that killed more than 200 people.