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Pregnant girlfriend to posthumously marry French gunman’s victim

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, March 23, 2012 15:33 EDT
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French 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment paratroopers carry the coffin of their comrade Abel Chennouf during his funeral near his pregnant companion Caroline Monet. She will be allowed to marry him posthumously. (AFP Photo/Pascal Pavani)
 
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The pregnant girlfriend of one of the French paratroopers murdered by Mohamed Merah is to be allowed to marry him posthumously, the family’s lawyer Gilbert Gollard said Friday.

“We have just obtained from the Elysee (President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office) the authorisation for Abel Chennouf’s girlfriend to marry posthumously,” Collard said.

Chennouf was one of two paratroopers shot dead in garrison town Montauban by self-confessed Al-Qaeda militant Merah during his killing spree in southwestern France before he was shot dead by police on Thursday.

His heavily pregnant girlfriend, Caroline Monet, attended a military commemoration ceremony in his memory on Thursday in a wheelchair. Sarkozy said in a speech there that the soldiers were victims of a “terrorist execution”.

The French president is authorised to allow posthumous marriages in certain cases.

The girlfriends of two policeman killed while on duty in the cities of Marseille and Lyon previously received similar authorisations.

(French 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment paratroopers carry the coffin of their comrade Abel Chennouf during his funeral near his pregnant companion Caroline Monet. She will be allowed to marry him posthumously. AFP Photo/Pascal Pavani)

Agence France-Presse
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