Funeral ceremonies in Paris and Jerusalem for Paris shooting victims
Hollande posthumously bestows France’s top honour on three police officers killed last week
Attacks against Muslim targets are “also attacks against the Republic,” French president Francois Hollande said as he honoured police officers killed in last week’s terror attacks in Paris.
He was speaking as funeral ceremonies were held in Paris and Jerusalem for seven of those shot dead in last week’s attacks in Paris.
At ceremony at police headquarters in Paris for the three dead police officers, Mr Hollande posthumously bestowed France’s top honour, the Legion d’Honneur, on the three officers; Franck Brinsolaro, Ahmed Merabet and Clarissa Jean-Philippe.
The officers “died so that we may live in freedom”, he said at the televised ceremony.
At the ceremony Mr Hollande went first to the family of Ahmed Merabet, the French Muslim policeman killed in the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo. A total of 17 people were killed by gunmen during the attacks over three days last week.
“The state will be unflinching against anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic acts, just as it will be unflinching against those who apologize for terrorism and those who go to fight in Syria and try to return,” Mr Hollande said at the ceremony at the Invalides.
The satirical newspaper lampooned religions and had been threatened repeatedly for its caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. Seventeen people were killed in the attacks, along with the gunmen.
It is planning to run a front cover in its edition tomorrow depicting Mohammad.
French police said as many as six members of a terrorist cell involved in the Paris attacks could still be at large, including a man seen driving a car registered to the widow of one of the gunmen.
Relatives of the victims spoke briefly in memory of their loved ones.
Israeli president Reuven Rivlin repeated his message from Israeli leaders for European Jews to move to the Jewish state.
“Returning to your ancestral home need not be due to distress, out of desperation, amidst destruction, or in the throes of terror and fear.
“Terror has never kept us down, and we do not want terror to subdue you. The land of Israel is the land of choice. We want you to choose Israel because of a love for Israel.”
French police officials said authorities are searching the capital for a Mini Cooper registered to Hayat Boumeddiene, the widow of Amedy Coulibaly, who was behind the attack on a kosher supermarket.
Turkish officials say she is now in Syria. One police official said the cell consisted of about 10 members, and that “five or six could still be at large”, but he did not provide names.
Another official said the cell was made up of about eight people and included Boumeddiene. One of the police officials also said Coulibaly apparently set off a car bomb on Thursday in the town of Villejuif, but no one was injured and it did not receive significant media attention at the time.
French prime minister Manuel Valls said the manhunt is urgent because “the threat is still present”. The country has deployed 10,000 troops to protect sensitive sites including Jewish schools and neighbourhoods.