A police dog called Diesel, was killed during the raid on the apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, where the alleged mastermind of Paris attacks was believed to be hiding.
Reports suggest that Diesel, who is trained to sniff out explosives, was blown to pieces when a jihadi bride came out firing her AK-47 at police before detonating her suicide vest.
A tweet by the French national police confirmed the death of the seven-year-old Belgian shepherd dog, from its Research, Assistance, Intervention and Deterrence (Raid) unit.
— Police Nationale (@PNationale) November 18, 2015
“Diesel, a seven-year-old Malinois, RAID assault dog, was killed by terrorists in the current operation,” the tweet read.
Tributes quickly poured in to the respected canine, with one police handler saying: ‘It’s a little like losing one our colleagues.’
29 999 999 millions d’amis. RIP Diesel. — Michel-Michel-Michel (@LeKouss) November 18, 2015
Some paid tribute by tweeting photos of their dogs.
Some posted these fabulous words, in honor of the French police dog.
Not all heroes are human 🐕 RIP Diesel #JeSuisChien ❤
— Special K (@WhatKaySaid) November 18, 2015
— Tami-lynn (@zolis) November 18, 2015
The hashtag #Jesuisunchien [translated to English as “I’m a dog”] has gone viral since Twitter users heard of the dog’s death. French police said that dogs like Diesel are “indispensable” to the elite unit. The Belgian Malinois is one of the breeds most commonly used as police dogs, as per the National Police Dog Foundation.
The brave dog was reportedly the first to be sent into an apartment to assess the level of danger before they stormed it.
In the six-hour operation, one male and one female suspected terrorists were killed and police made five arrests. Five police officers are also said to have suffered injuries in the operation. Witnesses described hearing heavy gunfire and the sound of large explosions and grenades coming from the apartment building.