The suspect who allegedly opened fire at a crowded Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, killing three and injuring 13 others, was reportedly killed by police Thursday.
A manhunt of some 720 police officers and other law enforcement members had been underway since 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt, who has at least 27 convictions in four European countries, escaped from the scene Tuesday.
The suspect, who reportedly shouted “allahu akbar” before engaging in what authorities deemed an act of terror, was known to police and was being monitored by the government since 2015 due to suspected religious extremism.
The Paris prosecutor’s office also reportedly has several members of Chekatt’s family in custody, including his parents and two brothers.
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 13, 2018
The deadly shootout and terror attack come amid an already tumultuous time for the French country, in which hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in what began as a protest on the carbon tax on fuel and morphed into a war against French President Emmanuel Macron and his policies.
The French government pleaded with protesters Thursday to be “reasonable” as they prepare for a fifth round of protests this weekend, citing the intense pressure and danger law enforcement has been under between the violent riots and the search for Tuesday’s terrorist.
“Our security forces have been deployed extensively these past few weeks,” a spokesman for the French government, Benjamin Griveaux, told a French television service, CNews. “It would be better if everyone could go about their business calmly on Saturday, before the year-end celebrations with their families, instead of demonstrating and putting our security forces to work once again.”
U.S. President Donald Trump used the Christmas market shooting as a ploy for his government to ramp up its own border security, tweeting Wednesday: “Another very bad terror attack in France. We are going to strengthen our borders even more. Chuck and Nancy must give us the votes to get additional Border Security!”
French media reported Thursday that Chekatt had been hiding out in a warehouse in the Meinau district. No police were injured in the encounter.
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