Strasbourg attack: Armed cops cordon off area after market shooting

Теракт в Страсбурге число погибших увеличилось
The death toll in the shooting in Strasbourg was increased to four

14 December, 2018

Cherif Chekatt, 29, was killed in the Neudorf/Meinau area of the city shortly after a big police operation was launched around 2100 hrs (2000 GMT) on Thursday about 2 kilometres from where he launched his attack on Tuesday.

About 350 people, including police, troops and helicopters were on the heels of the attacker who had "sowed terror" in the city, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said.

French special forces police secure an area during an operation where the suspected gunman, Cherif Chekatt, was killed, in the Meinau district in Strasbourg, France.

Emergency workers escort a woman after the shooting near the Christmas market in Strasbourg, eastern France.

Chekatt had yelled "Allahu Akbar" before opening fire at the Christmas market and police are treating it as a terrorist incident.

Three years after groups of extremists gunned down and blew up 130 people in Paris on Nov 13, 2015, French counterterror officials say their focus has shifted.

The French National Police thanked the public for their assistance in finding Chekatt.

In the wake of the Strasbourg attack, "it would be better if everyone could go about their business calmly on Saturday, before the year-end celebrations with their families, instead of demonstrating and putting our security forces to work once again", he said.

Immigration Bureau chief Surachate Hakparn said he will meet French diplomats in Thailand today to discuss ways of assisting the dead man's wife.

This is not the first time Strasbourg, home to the European parliament and rights court, has been targeted for a terror attack.

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The Paris prosecutor, who is in charge of anti-terror probes in France, is heading to Strasbourg, according to a statement from his office.

French soldiers, who are part of anti-terrorism patrols across the country, had shot him in the arm but he managed to escape and elude capture for 48 hours.

The Christmas market will be closed Wednesday and the flags will be at half-staff, Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries said early Wednesday on his Twitter account.

Chekatt has an extensive criminal background that includes 27 convictions in France, Germany and Switzerland, mostly for acts of robbery and violence.

Italian daily La Repubblica reports that he travelled Strasbourg on Sunday to follow the European Parliamentary session.

"We can't give in to fear because life, the festivities, our culture, the joy, of which this Christmas market is a symbol, must win through", said Castaner.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said one Italian was among the wounded, in critical condition.

France has been targeted by a series of attacks by Islamist gunmen since 2015, and the Strasbourg market was long considered a target.

Authorities said a taxi driver dropped Chekatt off in the Neudorf neighborhood of Strasbourg on Tuesday evening after the shooting, which also wounded 13 people.

The shooting spree comes as French leader Emmanuel Macron faces the biggest crisis of his presidency after three weeks of anti-government demonstrations sparked by fuel tax rises.

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