Sunday 22 April 2018

French PM leads funerals for victims of extremist attack

The ceremonies are taking place in the quiet Aude region.

The son, second right, no name given, of victim Jean Mazieres reacts with relatives by his father’s coffin while French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, right, looks on during a ceremony for three victims of last week’s extremist gun rampage in Trebes (Fred Lancelot/AP)
The son, second right, no name given, of victim Jean Mazieres reacts with relatives by his father’s coffin while French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, right, looks on during a ceremony for three victims of last week’s extremist gun rampage in Trebes (Fred Lancelot/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and senior figures of the French government are attending the funerals in southern France for the four victims of last week’s extremist gun rampage.

The ceremonies are taking place in the quiet Aude region that was the site of a deadly carjacking, gun spree and supermarket hostage-taking.

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The son, second right, of victim Jean Mazieres reacts with relatives and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, right, during a ceremony for three victims of last week’s extremist gun rampage in Trebes, southern France (Fred Lancelot/AP)

Mr Philippe spoke to families of the victims and local residents in Trebes as the funeral convoys of Herve Sosna, Christian Medves and Jean Mazieres arrived – and their coffins were put on display in a large square.

Mr Mazieres, 60, was killed by attacker Redouane Lakdim during the carjacking; Mr Medves, 50, was shot in the supermarket, where he worked as a butcher; and construction worker Mr Sosna, 65, was a customer in the supermarket.

A private religious ceremony took place afterwards for gendarme Arnaud Beltrame in nearby Carcassonne, and it will be followed by a burial later in the cemetery of Ferrals-les-Corbieres.

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The funeral convoy of Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame arrives outside the Carcassonne cathedral in southern France (Fred Lancelot/AP)

On Wednesday, France held a national homage to Mr Beltrame, who was given a posthumous Legion of Honour for his heroism in swapping himself for a hostage and potentially preventing further killings.

Press Association

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