Gunman on the run after deadly shooting at Strasbourg's Christmas market

Gunman on the run after deadly shooting at Strasbourg's Christmas market

"The government has raised its security threat to the highest level and is bolstering border controls", Castaner told a late-night news conference.

Cherif Chekatt, who remained on the lam Wednesday after a deadly rampage at a Christmas market in France, had been on police radar after being radicalized while jailed in three countries for a variety of crimes, officials said. Italian daily La Repubblica reports that he was in Strasbourg to follow the European Parliamentary session.

The minister of the interior has tweeted a warning to those in the city to follow any advice given by the French government.

He said police had narrowly missed catching the suspect last night at around 10pm.

The lock of the door is broken at the suspect's apartment. Police were guarding the building where the gunman was believed to have lived, in an outer neighborhood of Strasbourg.

Shortly after the shooting, lines of police vehicles and ambulances streamed into the market area, under festive lights declaring the city the "capital of Christmas".

According to Paris prosecutor Remi Heitz, witnesses reported hearing the gunman shout "Allahu Akbar", Arabic for "Allah is the greatest", during the onslaught.

TWEET: "I express solidarity of the nation with whole Strasbourg, victims and their families".

Nationwide, more than 1,700 people were detained, over 1,000 of them in Paris, as police vowed "zero tolerance" for anarchists, far-right supporters and others seeking to cause trouble.

A witness in France has told the BBC that one of the people shot and killed was a Thai tourist who suffered a head wound and didn't respond to efforts to revive him.

French press are reporting four dead and eleven injured in the shooting. The prosecutor's office says the investigation is for murder and attempted murder in relation with a terrorist enterprise.

French police have identified the suspect in the Christmas market shooting in Strasbourg as Cherif Chekatt, 29, a French citizen of Moroccan origin.

Gendarmes went to the suspect's home to arrest him before the attack, but he wasn't there, Stephane Morisse of police union FGP said. He was not at home at the time.

The European Parliament was sent into lockdown. "I saw a person with apparently two shots into the head lying on the bridge here", he said. "We have to go forward and not change our ways", Tajani said.

According to the verdict, the suspected attacker grew up with six siblings in Strasbourg, worked for local authorities after leaving school and had been unemployed since 2011. He said that he had been traveling a lot and had already spent four years of his life in prison.

The city is also the formal seat of the European Parliament and sits near the German border.

France, where most of Europe's worst terror attacks of recent years took place, was raising its terror alert level and sending security reinforcements to Strasbourg, Castaner said early Wednesday.

"The hunt is continuing", Deputy Interior Minister Laurent Nunez said on France Inter radio.

Seven of the injured and were said to be in a serious condition. Hundreds of law enforcement officers are participating in the search, Jake Cigainero reports for NPR from Paris. Authorities haven't given a motive for the shooting.

A terrorism investigation was opened.

Christian Hartmann / Reuters Some 350 security forces and two helicopters were searching for the assailant.

Strasbourg mayor Roland Ries said authorities recommended that people stay home if possible, but he said they should continue with their lives as much as possible.

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