French police couple buried after jihadist murder
PEZENAS (AFP): Hundreds of people paid a final tribute to a policeman and his partner who were buried in southern France on Monday after being knifed to death by an extremist.
Police commander Jean-Baptiste Salvaing and his partner Jessica Schneider were killed at their home outside Paris a week ago by known jihadist Larossi Abballa, 25.
Family, friends, police officers and government officials gathered for an emotional memorial service in the small town of Pezenas in southern France, Salvaing’s home town.
“Jessica and Jean-Baptiste will always be in our hearts,” said a police officer who worked with the couple. Schneider was a civilian employee of the same police station as her partner.
The couple were then laid to rest at a cemetery in the nearby town of Montagnac.
The attack was the first of its kind in France since a gang of Islamic State jihadists struck Paris in November, killing 130 people.
Abballa was shot dead by police after killing the couple in the presence of their three-year-old son Mathieu who was traumatised but unhurt.
The attacker pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and, during the assault, streamed a live video on Facebook of himself inside the house with the toddler, urging “other surprises” and pledging to “turn the Euro into a graveyard”.
Two men linked to Abballa were charged and detained by an anti-terror court Saturday.
Saad Rajraji, 27, and Charaf-Din Aberouz, 29, were charged with having links to a terrorist group, but were not found to have any connection to last week’s murder.
The two men had been convicted along with Abballa in September 2013 as part of a network to send jihadists to Pakistan, judicial sources close to the investigation said.
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