The balance of the shooting perpetrated Tuesday night in the center of Strasbourg is at least three dead and 13 injured, eight of them seriously. The attack, which the authorities suspect is of a terrorist nature, happened in the vicinity of the popular Christmas market, the oldest in France, which attracts thousands of tourists every year. The aggressor, who continues to flee, had been sentenced in Germany and France for common crimes and had served his sentences. It is, according to Gallic media, a man of 29 years and born in Strasbourg, the city that houses the Council of Europe and the seat of the European Parliament, which was also on the radar of the authorities for constituting a security risk.
According to the intervention at dawn of the Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, the alleged perpetrator of the attack “sowed terror” in three different points of the city from 19.50 (local time). Some 350 police and gendarmes have been deployed to try to intercept him and between 2020 and 2100 local time the suspect has clashed several times with the security forces, with a “systematic” exchange of shots. Before starting the escape, the aggressor was wounded by a patrol of soldiers of Operation Sentinel who are still deployed throughout the country because of the terrorist threat.
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The anti-terrorist section of the Paris Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation for “murder, attempted murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise and criminal terrorist criminal association”. However, the number two of Interior, Secretary of State Laurent Nunez, has warned on Wednesday morning that “the terrorist motivation is not established.” “You have to be very cautious,” he said.
“He is an individual known for common crimes, known for many crimes but not linked to terrorism, in fact he was never known for crimes related to terrorism, he has an important judicial file, he has been in prison several times and it was on that occasion that radicalization was detected, but linked to religious practice and not a step to the act “terrorist, explained on France Inter.
The investigation has been entrusted to the terrorist sub-directorate of the judicial police, the interregional directorate of the judicial police of Strasbourg and the general directorate of internal security (DGSI), the French domestic intelligence. The Prime Minister, Édouard Philippe, activated at midnight the interministerial crisis cell to monitor the situation closely. The president, Emmanuel Macron, participated in the first meeting along with other ministers. The meeting at the headquarters of the Interior, near the Elysee, lasted just over an hour, after which the president returned, on foot, to the presidential palace, without making statements.
According to the prefecture of the Great East and Lower Rhine, “around 20.00, an armed man entered the perimeter of the Christmas market on the bridge of Corbeau towards the street of the goldsmiths.The individual opened fire, wounding several people” . According to information collected by Reuters, the author of the attack later stole a taxi driver’s vehicle. The France Info radio station and the BFM TV network say that officers had gone to his home on Tuesday morning to arrest him for an “attempted homicide” in a case last August, but they did not find him at home.
Alain Fontanel, the first deputy mayor of Strasbourg, soon after the first warning about the shooting, the local and national authorities quickly urged the residents to stay in their homes or in safe areas. .
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Petit message pour ma famille pour les rassurer et faire le point de la situation de la fusillade de #Strasbourg
On est caché et on goes well!
Pourvu that ce ne soit pas trop grave pour ceux encore en rue!
20:50 – 11 Dec 2018
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Security forces rushed to quickly block the affected area, much visited by tourists at this time, said the regional station France Bleu Alsace. Merchants and customers remained locked in shops and bars in the busy downtown until early morning on Wednesday.
The police specifically urged residents and visitors to avoid the Neudorf area, near the center and where the aggressor is believed to have fled. The French Government has reinforced its level of anti-terrorist alert that is now at a level of “urgency for attack”. In addition, border controls have been strengthened and measures have been increased
of security in all the Christmas markets of the country. The Sentinel anti-terrorist device has also been reinforced throughout the territory.