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3 Dead in Mass Shooting Near French Christmas Market

Gunman at large after Strasbourg attack
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 11, 2018 3:08 PM CST
Updated Dec 11, 2018 6:35 PM CST
In this image made from video, emergency services arrive on the scene of a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A shooting in the French city of Strasbourg killed at least three people and wounded 11 others near a world-famous Christmas market Tuesday, sparking a broad lockdown and a search for the suspected gunman, who remained at large, the AP reports. French prosecutors said a terrorism investigation was opened, though authorities did not announce a motive for the bloodshed. The city is home to the European Parliament, which was locked down after the shooting. It was unclear if the market—which was the nucleus of an al-Qaeda-linked plot in 2000—was targeted. The prefect of the Strasbourg region said the suspect was previously flagged as a possible extremist. The gunman has been identified and has a criminal record, according to Interior Minister Christophe Castaner; one official says he was wounded by soldiers guarding the market.

Gendarmes went to the suspect's home to arrest him earlier Tuesday, before the attack, but he wasn't there, Morisse said. They found explosive materials, he said. French military spokesman Col. Patrik Steiger said the shooter did not aim for the soldiers patrolling in and around the Christmas market, but targeted civilians instead. Several of the people wounded were in critical condition, the interior minister said. President Emmanuel Macron adjourned a meeting at the presidential palace Tuesday night to monitor the emergency, his office said, indicating the gravity of the attack. In multiple neighborhoods of Strasbourg, the French Interior Ministry urged the public to remain indoors. Local authorities tweeted for the public to "avoid the area of the police station," close to the city's well-known Christmas market, which is set up around the city's cathedral during the holiday season and is a popular gathering place. (More on the thwarted 2000 plot here.)

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