Strasbourg terrorist killed in gun battle with police

The suspected gunman who killed three people at a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg was shot dead last Thursday in a brief gun battle with police after being on the run for 48 hours, police sources said. Cherif Chekatt, 29, was killed in the Neudorf/Meinau area of the city shortly after a big police operation was launched in the evening.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters later three police officers came across a man they believed to be Chekatt and went to arrest him. He turned to fire on them and they shot and killed him, he told reporters. “I think it will help to get back to a life that I would describe as normal,” Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries told reporters. “With the death of this terrorist ... citizens, like me, are relieved,” he said

The death toll from Tuesday’s attack rose to three while police on Thursday combed the city in the east of France for a second day and manned checkpoints on the German border in their search for Chekatt. Three others were fighting for their lives. Police issued a wanted poster in multiple languages for Chekatt, who was the main suspect in the attack and who had been on a watchlist as a potential security threat.

Islamic State claimed him as one of its soldiers on Thursday, who “carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting citizens of coalition countries” fighting the militant group, according to a statement on its Amaq news website. The group provided no evidence for the claim.

Witnesses had told investigators that the attacker cried out “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greater) as he opened fire last Tuesday on the Christmas market in Strasbourg, a target Paris Prosecutor Remy Heitz suggested may have been chosen for its religious symbolism.

 

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