Trump denounces 'horrible' attack in France

People stand next to flowers laid in front of the Gendarmerie Nationale in Carcassonne on March 24, 2018 in tribute to the gendarme killed after swapping himself for a hostage during an attack by a gunman who left a total of four people dead on March
People stand next to flowers laid in front of the Gendarmerie Nationale in Carcassonne on March 24, 2018 in tribute to the gendarme killed after swapping himself for a hostage during an attack by a gunman who left a total of four people dead on March 23, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Donald Trump on Saturday (March 24) denounced an Islamist attack in France that claimed four lives, including that of a policeman hailed as a hero.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the horrible attack in France yesterday, and we grieve the nation's loss," Trump tweeted.

"We also condemn the violent actions of the attacker and anyone who would provide him support. We are with you @EmmanuelMacron!" A gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group on Friday hijacked a car in Carcassonne, southwestern France, and shot the two people inside. The passenger was killed and the Portuguese driver was left in a critical condition.

He also shot and wounded a police officer out jogging.

In the nearby town of Trebes, the gunman, Radouane Lakdim, 25, then holed up in a supermarket where he killed the supermarket's butcher and a customer.

Police Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, 45, took the place of a woman whom the gunman had been using as a human shield, but he shot and stabbed the officer, who died early Saturday from his wounds.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Beltrame "died a hero."