Strasbourg shooting: at least two killed in terrorist attack near Christmas market

From the Guardian, who are being blunter than other newspapers. 

French police say at least 11 others injured by gunman, who has ‘been identified’ but remains at large.  Police said the lone gunman started his attack in the city centre just before 8pm where the market, which attracts millions of tourists every year, is taking place.

Witnesses said he had fired a first volley of rounds near the market around 8pm then a second a few metres further on. “There were gunshots and people running everywhere,” one shopkeeper told BFMTV. “It lasted about 10 minutes.”

Several of the injured are reported to be in a critical condition.

The anti-terrorist section of the Paris prosecutor’s office declared the incident to be an act of terrorism and announced an inquiry had been opened into “murder and attempted murder in relation to a criminal enterprise”.

France’s interior minister, Christophe Castaner, said the gunman “has been identified” and was known to police who were searching for him. Police confirmed the gunman, aged 29, and born in Strasbourg, is on the national “Fiche S” list of people considered a potential security risk.

Officers said he had shot at soldiers patrolling as part of the nationwide Operation Sentinelle, reportedly injuring one of them. Sentinelle is a French military operation introduced in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in and around Paris in January 2015. I saw, but couldn’t photograph armed police in Manchester Christmas market last week. It is a risk not confined to continental markets.

The local prefecture tweeted that people should avoid the area near the city’s police headquarters.

Police in Germany have said they are strengthening controls at the Franco-German border near Strasbourg. The police force of Baden-Wurttemberg, a state in south-west Germany bordering Strasbourg, tweeted they were taking the extra measures at the border because of the shooting. The transnational tramway between France and Germany was reported to have been suspended.

From France 24

French newspaper Le Figaro has reported that, according to the Strasbourg city council, a second police operation underway at Place Broglie, also in the historic centre of Strasbourg, in response to a second suspect believed to be involved in the shooting.

French police have cornered the suspected gunman and a shootout is underway, a source close to the investigation has told Reuters.