Suspect in France’s Strasbourg attack killed in gun battle


Suspect may have chosen his target for its religious symbolism
Monitoring desk
A gunman who shot dead a man suspected of killing at least two people in a gun attack on a Christmas market in Strasbourg and who was known to have been religiously radicalised while in jail.
Earlier, while police had searched through eastern France on Wednesday for Strasbourg-born Cherif Chekatt, 29, who was also on an intelligence services watch list as a potential security risk, Remy Heitz, the Paris prosecutor had said witnesses told investigators the assailant yelled before launching his attack on the market.
Heitz had added that the suspect may have chosen his target for its religious symbolism.
“Considering the target, his way of operating, his profile and the testimonies … the anti-terrorist police has been called into action,” Heitz told a news conference.
Police had also issued a wanted poster for Chekatt, the suspect, and an investigation was opened into alleged murder with terrorist intent and suspected ties to terrorist networks with intent to commit crimes, Heitz said.
Two people were killed and a third person was brain-dead and being kept alive on life support, he said. Six other victims were fighting for their lives.
France had raised its security threat to the highest alert level, strengthening controls on its border with Germany as elite commandos backed by helicopters hunted for the suspect.