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PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron led a national tribute Tuesday to the four police employees slain in last week's knife attack in Paris, calling them "victims of Islamic terrorism."

At a ceremony at the police headquarters where they were stabbed to death in last Thursday's bloody rampage, a solemn Macron endured drizzle as he paid homage to the three police officers and one police administrator killed by their own colleague, a 45-year-old deaf technology administrator and Muslim convert.

"They had made the choice to wear the uniform, to devote their lives to protecting others. They died in service, at work," said Macron, who also met privately with families of the victims.

French prosecutors are investigating the killings as a potential act of terrorism as it transpired the knifeman likely had links with members of an ultra-conservative Islamic movement.

"The whole nation (must) unite, mobilize, act We will only win if our country gets up to fight against this underground Islamism that corrupts the children of France," he added.

He proposed establishing a "society of vigilance" to protect France, a country still reeling from numerous extremist attacks in recent years — but he warned the French against "suspicion that corrodes."

A parliamentary inquiry into the case will open next week, the National Assembly announced.

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