Saturday, 20 April, 2019

Manhunt: Strasbourg Terror Suspect Yelled 'Allahu Akbar' Before Attack

SIPA USA  PA Images               Members of the public have laid flowers near the market SIPA USA PA Images Members of the public have laid flowers near the market
Leonard Rios | 13 December, 2018, 22:00

Mr Castaner said: "The government has chose to move the security level to "Emergency Attack" with stricter controls at the borders, and the implementation of reinforced controls on all the Christmas markets that are taking place in France to avoid the risk of copycat attacks".

French police officers stand guards in the street of the scene following a shooting in the city of Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.

The European Parliament is planning a minute of silence at noon to remember the victims of the Strasbourg shooting, which happened only a few kilometers (miles) from the legislature.

STRASBOURG, France A massive manhunt involving hundreds of police and soldiers was underway today for a suspected extremist who yelled "God is great!" in Arabic during a shooting spree around one of Europe's most famous Christmas markets.

The attack took place at 8.00pm (7.00pm GMT) in the heart of the city as the market was closing.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told lawmakers in Paris on Wednesday that the gunman was injured in an exchange of fire with soldiers who were patrolling the Christmas market as part of regular anti-terror operations.

A man on the run suspected of shooting three people dead and injuring a dozen more near the Strasbourg Christmas market on Tuesday has been identified by police as 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt.

Chekatt was shot by police, but managed to escape in a taxi-cab immediately after what authorities are treating as a terror attack.

Witnesses described shots and screams after the gunman opened fire around the Christmas market Tuesday evening. But Heitz said two people were confirmed dead while the third was brain dead.

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The suspected gunman has been sentenced 27 times, mostly in France where he was born, but also in Germany, Switzerland as well as Luxembourg which are easily reached from Strasbourg.

At least two people were killed in the attack, and twelve wounded. The attack also wounded 13 others, eight of whom are in critical condition.

"One of them fell down, I don't know whether it was because she was tripped up or if she was hit", the witness said.

Junior German interior minister Laurent Nuñez said on Wednesday that it could not be excluded from possibility that Chekatt had already crossed into Germany and border controls between the countries have been increased, according to The Guardian.

It took police four months to track down Salah Abdesalam, the prime surviving suspect from the November 2015 militant assault on Paris, in an apartment in Brussels.

It has been labelled as a terror investigation. "No one wants to live there", Bemba N'diaye, another local resident, told French news agency AFP of the concrete building Chekatt called home.

PHOTO: Police motorcycles drive in the streets of Strasbourg, eastern France, after a shooting breakout, on December 11, 2018.

President Emmanuel Macron has adjourned a meeting at the presidential palace on Tuesday night to be able to monitor the events, his office said. It's home to the European Parliament.

Authorities had urged the public to remain indoors at the height of the drama, and people out dining were kept in restaurants for hours, along with lawmakers at the European Parliament, and thousands at a sports stadium.

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