Europe

Charlie Hebdo attack: Ahmed Merabet's family speak out

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Media captionAhmed Merabet's brother Malek: "He was killed by people who pretend to be Muslims. They are terrorists, that's it"

The family of murdered French Muslim police officer Ahmed Merabet, gunned down by the Charlie Hebdo attackers in Paris, have appealed for calm.

Malek Merabet said his brother had been "very proud of being a policeman and defending the values of the Republic".

He added he had been "killed by people who pretend to be Muslims".

Ahmed's partner Morgane said she had seen TV reports of the attack without recognising him as the police officer shown lying on the ground.

Both spoke at a news conference on Saturday.

Malek said Ahmed had helped look after his mother and other family members since their father's death 20 years ago.

"Our family is devastated by this act of barbarity, and shares the pain of the families of all the victims," he said.

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Media captionAhmed Merabet's partner called on the public to remain "united and calm"

"Islam is a religion of peace, love, of sharing. It's not about terrorism, it's not about madness - we have nothing to do with that.

"My brother was a Muslim, and he was killed by people who pretend to be Muslims. They are terrorists - that's it."

He added: "I speak now to all the racists, Islamophobes and anti-Semites who confuse extremists and Muslims. Madness has neither colour nor religion.

"I want to make another point: don't tar everybody with the same brush, don't burn mosques - or synagogues. You are attacking people. It won't bring our dead back and it won't appease the families."

He also criticised media organisations which had broadcast footage of his brother's killing.

Ahmed's partner said: "I was in a restaurant and a television was on... I didn't recognise him, I only saw the picture of a man on the pavement. I tried to call him, sent messages. I went back to work, and then his sister called me.

"We should remain united, people should remain calm, we should respect all the victims."

The family said they were "proud" of the gatherings that had taken place to commemorate the victims, saying they proved that France could be united.

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