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  1. ITV Report

France honours Arnaud Beltrame, hostage swap police officer killed in supermarket attack

The police officer killed in last week's supermarket attack in southern France has been honoured in a day long ceremony led by President Emmanuel Macron.

Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, who was killed after swapping himself with a hostage in the attack, is being posthumously awarded the Legion of Honour, France's highest award.

In a show of unity, former French presidents Francois Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Valery Giscard d'Estaing also attended the event, where Mr Beltrame's coffin was carried from the Pantheon across Paris to the Hotel des Invalides, the final resting place of Napoleon.

President Macron delivered a public eulogy in front of colleagues and family of Mr Beltrame, who died of his wounds on Saturday morning.

Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, the hero of last week’s extremist attack in southern France. Credit: Ouest France via AP

The national homage also includes a minute's silence in French police stations and several events in schools that honour Mr Beltrame's memory.

Some 2,000 school students and scores of police attended the Paris event that began with the French national anthem, in the stone courtyard of the French Interior Ministry.

The ceremony comes as questions are being raised over possible failures in French counter-terrorism, as it emerged the gunman was on a radicalisation watch list before he went on a rampage last Friday.

Gerard Collomb, Minister of the Interior of France, maintained that there were no "dysfunctions" in tracking Mr Beltrame's killer, Redouane Lakdim.

Mr Collomb said: "Ultimately no one thought that there would be a hasty attack".

The ceremony was held in the stone courtyard of the French Interior Ministry. Credit: AP

Mr Collomb said: "Ultimately no one thought that there would be a hasty attack".

Lakdim, who also killed three other people before he was shot dead by police, was a Moroccan-born French resident with dual nationality.

The chief of a counter-terrorism agency, known as Morocco's FBI, said that France never alerted his country about Lakdim's radical behaviour - calling the absence of contact "a misunderstanding".

According to Abdelhak Khiame, head of Morocco's Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations, the agency has been investigating Lakdim's family members in Morocco since the attack.