Dutch PM calls Strasbourg shooting "horrible"; at least 3 killed, 12 hurt

Dutch PM calls Strasbourg shooting

Dutch PM calls Strasbourg shooting "horrible"; at least 3 killed, 12 hurt

Another 12 people were wounded in the attack, six of whom were seriously injured. The suspect is said to be a 29-year old male and is known to have a criminal record.

Senior Interior Ministry official Laurent Nunez said Chekatt had been radicalized in prison and had been monitored by French intelligence services since his release from jail in late 2015, because of his suspected religious extremism.

Nunez said the assailant had been identified as a suspected extremist during his past stays in prison but said the motive for the attack remains unclear.

The city is home to the European Parliament, which was locked down after the shooting.

"I heard shooting and then there was pandemonium", one witness, who gave his name as Fatih, told AFP.

French military spokesman Col. Patrik Steiger said the shooter didn't seem to be aiming for the soldiers patrolling in and around the market, but appeared to target civilians instead.

Two people have been killed and another 11 wounded after a shooting in Strasbourg, eastern France, the BBC reports.

He said the man was armed with a handgun and a knife, using them to attack his victims.

"President Emmanuel Macron, who attended a Interdepartmental Crisis Centre meeting, left without speaking to reporters but later tweeted the "solidarity of the entire nation" is with Strasbourg, the victims and their families".

In response to the attack, the national threat level was raised to "Attack Emergency", the highest level on a three-step scale.

Several areas neighbouring the Christmas market were sealed off on Tuesday evening and residents were told to stay indoors.

Witnesses described hearing gunshots screams and shouts of police officers
ASSOCIATED PRESS Witnesses described hearing gunshots screams and shouts of police officers

Many people took refuge in local restaurants and bars which pulled down their shutters. Let us move on. They found explosive materials, he said.

Mr Castaner said: "Three hundred and fifty police and gendarmes are now on the ground to apprehend the suspect, supported by two helicopters, the RAID (French anti-terror police), the BRI (anti-gang brigade) and the Sentinel force".

French prosecutors have opened a terrorism investigation while the police are chasing the suspect.

"Shocked and saddened by the awful attack in Strasbourg".

British Prime Minister Theresa May wrote on Twitter that she was "shocked and saddened" by the "terrible" attack in Strasbourg.

In a parliament bar usually reserved for MEPs, EU commissioners, powerful legislators and staffers huddled in small groups waiting for developments. Asked whether the suspect might have left France, he said: "That can not be ruled out".

"You can just tell", he said, fearing being publicly named because the gunman is still being hunted by police.

The attack comes almost two years after Berlin's Christmas market was the site of a truck attack, which killed 12 people and left more injured.

Officials said German police have also tightened border controls across the Rhine river.

In 2016, a truck ploughed into a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, killing more than 80 people, while in November 2015, coordinated Islamist militant attacks on the Bataclan concert hall and other sites in Paris claimed about 130 lives.

On Wednesday police arrested four men believed to be connected to Cherif C. and revealed that the terror suspect had used a taxi to flee the scene and had even bragged to the taxi driver that he had killed at least ten people.

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