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Tributes to French police official stabbed by extremist

RAMBOUILLET, France — Masked and in silence, hundreds of police officers, family members and others paid homage Monday to a French police official killed inside her police station in what authorities are investigating as an extremist attack.

Family members, colleagues and friends of the victim joined local officials at the tribute ceremony in front of the town hall of Rambouillet, a quiet Paris suburb rocked by Friday's stabbing by a suspected Islamic extremist.

"A flame has been extinguished in everyone's heart," Mayor Veronique Matillon told the crowd, honouring a woman who "was killed while serving out her functions.” The victim was identified publicly only as Stephanie M.

Police unions called for gatherings in front of police stations across France at the same time as the one in Rambouillet.

Meanwhile, a group of imams also called for a gathering in Rambouillet to honour the slain official and show their support for police. The group said it was important to "firmly condemn all blind violence carried by a radical ideology" that hurts efforts to unite the French.

French police killed the 37-year-old Tunisian attacker shortly after he stabbed the unarmed administrative employee on Friday at the entrance of her police station.

Three people remain in custody as part of the anti-terrorism investigation seeking to identify potential accomplices and motives, a judicial official said Monday. Authorities said the attacker didn’t have a previous criminal record and hadn’t been flagged for radicalization.

The Associated Press