A senior French government official says that five people have been detained as police hunt for the man who attacked the Strasbourg Christmas market, but the gunman remains at large.
Laurent Nunez, secretary of state for the interior ministry, said Wednesday on France-Inter radio that the attacker could have fled to neighboring Germany.
He said that three people were killed and 13 injured, eight of them seriously. He denied reports of a police intervention at the city’s famed cathedral but said the search for the attacker is constantly evolving.
Nunez said the assailant had been identified as a suspected extremist during his past stays in prison but said the motive for the attack remains unclear. A terrorism investigation was opened.
France is hunting for a suspected extremist who sprayed gunfire near the famous Christmas market in the eastern city of Strasbourg, killing three and wounding at least 11.
The government raised the security alert level and sent police reinforcements to Strasbourg where some 250 security forces are searching for the assailant.
The attacker is a 29-year-old with a police record in France and neighboring Germany who had been flagged for extremism. A terrorism investigation was opened.
While authorities urged people in the area to stay inside, Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries told BFM television Wednesday that “life must go on” so that the city doesn’t cede to a “terrorist who is trying to disrupt our way of life.”
Strasbourg is considered one of Europe’s capitals. It’s home to the European Parliament.
This article provided by NewsEdge.