The death of a police dog during an operation to “neutralise” terror suspects near Paris has sparked a viral Twitter trend.
Thousands of people have been paying tribute to Diesel, the seven-year-old Belgian Malinois who was shot by an extremist as armed police raided a building in Saint-Denis this morning.
A female suicide bomber blew herself up and another extremist was killed during the operation targeting suspected Paris attacks “mastermind” Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
While the seven people arrested were being taken into custody, France’s National Police tweeted that Diesel “was killed by terrorists in the current operation in Saint-Denis”.
A spokesperson said that attack and sniffer dogs were “indispensable” in special operations.
The announcement has since been shared more than 11,000 times, compared to just 1,600 for the previous tweet announcing that five police officers were injured.
It sparked a wave of tributes using the hashtag #JeSuisChien, meaning “I am dog”.
Not everyone was taking the trend seriously…
Hashtags starting with the French phrase “je suis” have been used to express solidarity with numerous causes since January’s Paris attacks, when the rallying cry because “Je suis Charlie”, representing targeted newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and “Je suis Ahmed”, in memory of the Muslim police officer shot dead.
France remains in a national state of emergency following massacres across Paris on Friday that killed 129 people.
Francois Hollande today called for French people to show Isis they had not succeeded in taking their liberty be resuming normal life, while he continues co-ordination with the US and Russia to bomb the group’s fighters in Syria.
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