Strasbourg: 10 injured, Two killed, gunman ‘on the run’

Strasbourg

The French interior minister said two people have died, with up to 10 injured including several in a critical condition. He said the gunman has been identified and is known to police. Counter terrorism officials are investigating.

The public has been urged to stay indoors saying a “serious public security incident” was ongoing.

President Emmanuel Macron cut short an engagement to be briefed on the incident.

The incident happened close to a Christmas market in one of the city’s central squares, Place Kleber.

Security cordons are in place.

Local authorities in the Grand-Est and Bas-Rhin region tweeted for the public to “avoid the area of the police station”, which is close to the city’s Christmas market.

Police in Germany have said they are strengthening controls at the Franco-German border near Strasbourg.

The Strasbourg-based European Parliament was on lockdown after reports of the shooting emerged, with MEPs, staff and journalists unable to leave the building, an AFP reporter said.

The parliament is currently in plenary session, with hundreds of MEPs and officials having made the monthly visit to Strasbourg from Brussels.

Police said the suspected gunman had been identified.

The Christmas market in Strasbourg is an annual tourist attraction that draws hundreds of thousands of people.

Security has been stepped up in recent years after a series of attacks in France by militants since 2015.

Special anti-terror army units have been deployed and soldiers and armed police are regularly seen patrolling among the 300 wooden chalets that make up the market.

The shooting on Tuesday comes at a time when French security fores are stretched after more than three weeks of anti-government demonstrations.

Nearly 90,000 police were deployed on Saturday for the fourth round of protests by so-called “yellow vests” which led to violence in many cities.

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