France's Hollande leads poignant national tribute to three officers slain in the Paris attacks, one of whom was Muslim and is laid to rest at a cemetery in a Paris suburb. Mana Rabiee reports.
French President Francois Hollande leads a solemn national tribute.... paying last respects to three police officers killed in the Paris attacks. Seventeen people were killed in two assaults by Islamist militants over three days of violence... the worst militant attack on a European city in nearly a decade. Two of the slain officers died outside a satirical newspaper, where gunmen had killed ten journalists, targeting the weekly for its caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. Hollande -- in awarding the three officers the Legion of Honor, France's highest public distinction -- says they died defending freedom of speech and other fundamental French liberties. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, SAYING: "Thanks to them, thanks to you, freedom won over barbarism." One of the officers, Ahmed Merabet, was Muslim. He's laid to rest at this cemetery in a Paris suburb ... in a ceremony much less formal from earlier in the day, but no less emotional. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRIEND OF SLAIN POLICEMAN AHMED MERABET, YAMINA ZENASNI, SAYING: "It's unfair, unfair, how he was shot, coldly, like an animal. One cannot be shot like this. You wouldn't even kill a dog like that." France is home to Europe's largest Muslim and Jewish communities. A Rabbi at the funeral says -- in the wake of the attacks - the country needs to reunite behind humanist values. (SOUNDBITE) (French) RABBI, PHILIPPE HADDAD, SAYING: "It's not a Jew, an Arab or a Black, it's a MAN who is Jewish, it's a MAN who is Arab, it's a MAN who is black, so it's humanity first and foremost." Merabet's brothers say the national tribute with Hollande soothed their grief. They hope the national sense of unity surging through France just now will last. = Funeral held for Muslim policeman shot dead during Charlie Hebdo attack France's Hollande leads poignant national tribute to three officers slain in the Paris attacks, one of whom was Muslim and is laid to rest at a cemetery in a Paris suburb. Mana Rabiee reports.