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Strasbourg Christmas market shooting: what we know

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By Emma Beswick
A soldier on the street in Strasbourg
A soldier on the street in Strasbourg

At around 8 pm CET a single gunman opened fire on a street near Strasbourg's Christmas market.

What happened?

The gunman, later identified as Cherif Chekatt, crossed a bridge onto the island in the centre of the city where the famous Christmas market is held. 

Shortly after entering the area he opened fire on passers-by with a handgun and attacked others with a knife as he rampaged through the streets. 

Witnesses claimed he yelled "Allahu Akbar" as the attack commenced. He was spotted by a military patrol who shot back, hitting him in the arm, but managed to escape.

Jumping into a taxi, Chekatt ordered the driver to head south into the suburbs where he grew up. He bragged of his exploits during the journey before disappearing at the other end and sparking a nationwide manhunt that also extended across the German border.

The victims

Four people died in the attack with as many as 12 people injured, several seriously.

Kamal Naghchband

A 45-year-old mechanic who has three children, his brother, Mokhtar Naghchband, told Euronews.

He was left in a coma and pronounced dead on Thursday morning, Mokhtar added.

Kamal was a Muslim, originally from Kabul, Afghanistan, had lived in France for 18 years and had French nationality.

Anupong Suebsamarn

Thailand’s embassy in Paris confirmed in an online statement that a national from the country died in the shooting.

A Thai Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said the Paris embassy confirmed Anupong Suebsamarn, 45, was the victim.

He travelled to France for a holiday with his wife, according to the Associated Press.

“We strongly condemn the killings, which have resulted in the death of many innocent civilians,” the embassy said in the statement, extending their condolences to the victims’ families.

An Italian journalist and French business school student were among the injured.

Antonio Megalizzi

The Italian radio journalist was among the people shot in Tuesday's terrorist attack in Strasbourg and is in a coma and cannot be operated on, Danilo Moresco, the father of his girlfriend, Luana. told ANSA on Wednesday.

"From what I understand, Antonio is in a coma and it is not possible to operate because of the position of the bullet, which reached the column at the base of the skull, near to the spine," he said.

Jeanne Lorho

Christelle Lorho, the manager of a local cheese shop, said on Facebook that her daughter Jeanne had been shot in the arm.

Currently studying at a business school, Jeanne was born in Moyenmoutier in the Vosges department of France, around 80 kilometres from Strasbourg.

A polish national

Poland's foreign minister confirmed on Twitter that among the victims of the Strasbourg attack was a Polish citizen, but did not name the person or give details about their injuries.

The attacker

A man, believed to be Cherif Chekatt, 29, was shot and killed by police on Thursday evening, two days after the attack. He was spotted leaving a building in the Neudorf area of the city, where he lived. After firing on police, he was killed as they responded.

He had a long history of crime, both in France and in neighbouring Switzerland and Germany. Radicalised in prison in 2015, he had been monitored as a potential terrorist threat by France's security services.

Amaq, the media arm of the so-called Islamic State group, described him as one of its "soldiers", without providing evidence.

On the morning of the attack, police had raided his home in connection with an attempted murder investigation, discovering a grenade, rifle, knives and ammunition.

The location

The attack happened near the Christmas market on the Rue des Orfevres in the city centre. The surrounding area was put on lockdown, as was the European Parliament where MEPs were assembled.

These are the places where people reported seeing Chérif yesterday in central Strasbourg:

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