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Macron, Le Pen attend homage to murdered French police officer

media François Hollande speaks at the homage to Xavier Jugelé Thibault Camus / POOL / AFP

Presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen on Tuesday joined an official homage to the police officer killed on Paris's Champs Elysées last week. They had been invited to attend by incumbent François Hollande, who commented that he had been "murdered by a terrorist".

"France has again lost one of her bravest sons, the Republic has lost one of her most courageous officers," Hollande said in a tribute to Xavier Jugelé, who was shot dead on Paris's Champs Elysées avenue by Karim Cheurfi three days before Sunday's presidential election first round.

Jugelé was "a police officer conscious of his mission, a civil servants proud to serve the state, a citizen committed to different causes", the president declared.

The 38-year-old was a member of a support group for LGBT police officers and had gone to Greece to work with migrants in 2015-16.

"I'm suffering without hatred," his partner, Etienne Cardiles, said in an emotional speech. "I don't have this hatred, Xavier, because it was not your way [...] Dialogue, moderation and tolerance were the best weapons."

Hollande appealed to whoever wins the presidential election to "provide the necessary budgetary resources" to the security forces.

Limited effect on presidential election

Cheurfi killed Jugelé with two bullets to the head, also wounding two other officers and a tourist before being shot dead himself.

Macron, Le Pen and several other candidates cancelled their last campaigning activities because of the attack.

Macron appealed to people not to give in to fear and intimidation, while Le Pen declared that "everything has been done to ensure that we lose the war that is being fought against us for the last 10 years", prompting Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve to accuse her of trying to make political capital out of the tragedy.

There was speculation that support for the far-right candidate might go up because of the attack but opinion polls found that only four percent of voters said that it influenced their decision.

To read our coverage of France's 2017 presidential election click here

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