Heroic French officer marries girlfriend on his deathbed

The heroic French security officer who gave up his life in exchange for a hostage got married on his deathbed.

Arnaud Beltrame, a 44-year-old gendarme who once served in Iraq, intervened in a siege at the Super U store in the southwestern town of Trebes near the Pyrenees mountains.

After arriving on the scene, Mr Beltrame offered to trade places with a female hostage being held by Redouane Lakdim, the 25-year-old gunman.

He took her place and left his cellphone on a table with a line open, so his colleagues could hear what was happening inside the supermarket.

When shots rang out, police stormed the building and killed the gunman. Police sources said Mr Beltrame was shot three times.

He was rushed to hospital with serious injuries, and was joined by his fiancée, who he was due to wed three months later. The priest who was supposed to be the couple's celebrant came to the hospital to read Mr Beltrame his last rites.

He also married the couple right before the gendarme died from his injuries.

Mr Beltrame's selfless actions were praised by many, including French President Emmanuel Macron.

"He fell as a hero, giving up his life to halt the murderous outfit of a jihadist terrorist," the President said in a statement on Saturday (local time).

Several cities, the National Assembly and police stations lowered their flags in honour of the fallen officer, and Mr Beltrame's name became a trending hashtag on social media as people expressed their admiration and respect for him.

Three others were killed in the attack.