Strasbourg Xmas market reopens after attack

Strasbourg Xmas market reopens after attack


The Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg has reopened, two days after the attack carried out by a gunman on Tuesday evening.
Cherif Chekatt was killed on Thursday by police on a city street after he opened fire on officers.
Three people died following the shooting at the market and several more are seriously injured.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner is visiting the market as it reopens, talking to stallholders.

Strasbourg’s mayor Roland Ries said security would be tight: “We have restricted the number of entrances with checkpoints, body searches and bag searches. We have reduced [the number of entry points]for greater control, with a better distribution of police forces,” he told French radio.
Strasbourg markets itself as the “capital of Christmas”, and its festive market is a magnet for tourists, attracting two million visitors every year.
The city had been in lockdown after the attack while more than 700 police and soldiers hunted down the suspected gunman.
Chekatt, 29, had a string of criminal convictions in France and Germany and had become a radical Islamist in jail.
As a result of a call for testimonies, the security forces received 800 calls from the public and quickly focused their search on the Neudorf area, where Chekatt was last seen after the attack, France’s anti-terror prosecutor, Rémy Heitz, said on Friday.
As a result of two significant reports, an extensive police operation involving a helicopter was launched on Thursday evening at 19:30 local time (18:30 GMT).
At 21:00, officers in a police car noticed a man, whose description matched that of the suspect, walking down rue du Lazaret, Mr Heitz said.
The man noticed the police car and tried to enter a building at number 74, but could not get in. The officers identified themselves, and the man turned around, pointing a gun – similar to the one used in Tuesday’s attack – and fired in their direction, hitting their car, he said.
Two of the three officers fired back several times and killed the suspect. He was identified through his fingerprints and declared dead at 21:05.
The officers found an old gun, still loaded, some ammunition and a knife on his body.
French President Emmanuel Macron earlier thanked security forces in a tweet, vowing that the country’s commitment against terrorism is “total.”
Hundreds of French police and security forces had been searching for Chekatt.
A large police operation had taken place in Neudorf earlier on Thursday afternoon, but ended without results.
Seven people have been arrested in connection with the attack: Cherif Chekatt’s parents and two of his brothers, as well as three other people close to him, Mr Heitz said.
Mr Ries said that finding Chekatt meant the worried people of his city would now be able to return to a normal life.
Three people died in Tuesday’s attack, and one has been declared brain-dead, Mr Heitz said on Friday.
The death of Kamal Naghchband, a garage mechanic originally from Afghanistan, was announced on Thursday. The father of three died in hospital. He had been visiting the market with his family and was shot in the head, his cousin told the AFP news agency.
A retired bank worker aged 61, from Strasbourg, was also killed in the attack, according to media reports.
The third victim was a Thai tourist who was on holiday with his wife.
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha sent a letter of condolence to his French counterpart on Thursday that confirmed the man was among the dead, AFP reports.
Anupong Suebsamarn, 45, has been named by Thai media as the victim.-BBC


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