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Hollande promises measures to protect police officers


The French president, Francois Hollande, said Friday that the government will introducing measures to ensure that off-duty police officers are “guaranteed anonymity” when they are not on duty.

Hollande was speaking at a commemoration ceremony of the two police officers that were killed last weekend by a man claiming allegiance to the Islamic State armed group.

He added that the attack has also convinced him that police officers should be allowed keep their guns when they are not on duty.

Police commander Jean-Baptiste Salvaing and officer Jessica Schneider, who were stabbed to death Monday in what officials described as a terrorist attack.

Salvaing, 42, was brutally stabbed to death in front of his home in the western Paris suburb of Magnanville at around 8pm on Monday by a man identified as Larossi Abballa, a 25-year-old French citizen who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group.

media

"Jean-Baptiste Salvaing and Jessica Schneider"

After killing Salvaing, Abballa took Schneider, 36, and the couple’s 3-year-old son hostage in their home.

There, he slit Schneider’s throat before posting a chilling video on Facebook boasting about the murders and promising “more surprises during the Euro” 2016 football championship, which is currently being hosted by France. Abballa was later killed in a dramatic raid by elite police forces, who rescued the couple’s son.

Following their deaths, tributes began pouring in for Salvaing and Schneider, who worked as an administrative assistant at a police station in the neighbouring town of Mantes-la-Jolie. Friends and colleagues spoke warmly of the couple, whom they described as upstanding and extremely well liked.

Witnesses told investigators that the suspect may have shouted "Allahu akbar (God is great) as he stabbed the policeman repeatedly outside his home before holing up inside with the woman and the couple's three-year-old son.

A news agency linked to IS said the attack had been carried out by an "Islamic State fighter", days after posting a similar claim following the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.