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Strasbourg terrorist attack, gunman on the run

12.12.2018 – The gunman who opened fire at a Christmas market in central Strasbourg on Tuesday evening, killing two people and wounding others, is still on the run and may no longer be in France. Counter-terrorism prosecutors said they had opened an investigation into the shooting. The suspect, who has been identified as Chérif Chekatt in local media, yelled “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest” in Arabic) during the attack, Paris Public Prosecutor Rémy Heitz said during a press conference Wednesday. Heitz said the gunman killed two people and one left brain-dead. Twelve others were wounded, six of whom are in a critical condition. The 29-year-old suspect was known to authorities and was reportedly radicalized in prison. He was armed with a gun and a knife and escaped the area of the attack in a taxi, Heitz said. The gunman boasted to the taxi driver, who has been interviewed by police, that he had killed 10 people. Four people connected to the suspect were detained overnight in Strasbourg, Heitz said. An armed individual entered the perimeter of the Christmas market at around 8 p.m. local time and opened fire, local authorities said in a statement.  European Parliament is holding its last plenary session of the year in the French city this week. Parliament President Antonio Tajani gave the order to lock down the Parliament building. In a video posted on Twitter, Tajani said the attack had taken place about 3 kilometers from the Parliament.  “The police is investigating, we’ll see if it has to do with terrorism — probably yes,” he said. Shortly afterward, he told MEPs in the Parliament’s main chamber that the legislature would continue its session. ”We’re not going to be intimidated, we’re going to continue our work,” he declared. Tajani told MEPs at around 1:40 a.m. that those staying outside Strasbourg city center could leave the building by taxi or in their own cars, but would do so “at [their] own risk.” He asked for the details of those MEPs who were staying at hotels located inside the city center. “The center is not safe,” he said and pledged to organize a convoy of French police to escort people back to their lodgings when it was safe to do so. Carlos Iturgaiz, a Spanish member of the Parliament, tweeted from the city center that police would not let people go out into the streets. “In the center, it looks like a ghost town. The businesses were cleared out without being able to close their doors. There were thousands of people at the Christmas market and in the area. Chaos.” Several lawmakers tweeted that police would not let them out of the European Parliament building. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said his thoughts were with the victims of the shooting. “Strasbourg as a city is a symbol of European peace and democracy above all others,” Juncker said. “Those are values we will always defend.” More: here

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Source: EC Press

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