Showing posts with label Strasbourg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Strasbourg. Show all posts

Strasbourg shooting: Gunman shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as he attacked

The Strasbourg gunman yelled "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest" in Arabic) as he opened fire on people enjoying an evening out at a Christmas market, the Paris public prosecutor told reporters. Rémy Heitz said two people had been killed and one left brain-dead after the attack in the eastern French city on Tuesday.

 Twelve were wounded, six seriously. The man, named by local media as Chérif Chekatt, was known to authorities as having been radicalised in prison. The 29-year-old was armed with a gun and a knife and escaped the area in a taxi, Mr Heitz said. The attacker boasted to the driver - who has spoken to police - that he had killed 10 people, and said he had been injured in a firefight with soldiers. Four people connected to the suspect had been detained overnight in Strasbourg, Mr Heitz added.

 Strasbourg’s Christmas market, which started in 1570, is one of France’s most popular seasonal events. The Grande Île where the market is held is surrounded by water, with the River Ill on one side and the Canal du Faux-Rempart on the other, and is accessible only by bridges. Since the Paris terrorist attacks in 2015, the event has been held under high security. Access to the area is controlled and visitors’ bags are searched.

Vehicles have been banned from the area. In 2016, a truck was deliberately driven into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring 56 others. The perpetrator, Anis Amri, a Tunisian who had failed to gain asylum in Germany, was killed four days later in a shootout with police near Milan in Italy. The attack comes during a period of intense tension across France after four weeks of civil unrest by anti-government protesters from the gilets jaunesmovement.