Update 3 | Tributes to heroism of policeman killed in France supermarket hostage situation flood in

Two people were killed and many injured by the Moroccan gunman • The suspect, who was said to be heavily armed, asked for the release of Salah Abdeslam, the most important surviving suspect in the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks 

Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame has been hailed a hero
Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame has been hailed a hero

France has hailed as a hero a police officer who died of wounds he suffered after he traded places with a hostage in an armed standoff.

Lt-Col Arnaud Beltrame, 44, was shot after he traded places with one of the captives following a shooting spree in the southern French town of Trèbes. Armed police later shot a suspect who took hostages at a supermarket in the town. 

Beltrame, the French police officer who swapped himself with a woman in a supermarket hostage situation on Friday, died of his wounds earlier today.

Twitter and Facebook have been flooded by messages of admiration and praise for the officer's bravery.

The police officer was shot three times by radical Islamist Redouane Lakdim, after he left his mobile phone on in order to allow his colleagues to hear what was going on inside.

"He gave his life for strangers. He must have known that he didn't really have a chance. If that doesn't make him a hero, I don't know what would,” Beltrame’s brother said.

French President, Emmanuel Macron said that he “fell as a hero” and that Beltrame showed “exceptional courage”.

Lakdim was demanding the release of Salah Abdeslam, one of the most important surviving suspects of the Paris attacks in November 2015 that left 130 people dead.

Col Betrame is now the seventh French security force member to be killed in a terrorist attack since 2012.

Two people including Lakdim’s partner and another close friend are currently being interrogated by the police over the attack. 

The same individual had earlier attempted to run down four police officers on their morning run near Carcassonne and then opened fire, injuring one officer in the shoulder.

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