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Gunman on the run after three killed in Strasbourg shooting

12 December 2018

France's interior minister says that three people have been killed and up to 12 wounded in a shooting near Strasbourg's Christmas market.

The death toll, first reported as one, rose to four by late December 11, according to two police union officials. Officials did not explain the reason for the conflicting death tolls.

The attack prompted France to raise its national security threat level to its highest "emergency terror attack" status, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said at a press conference.

Strasbourg's public prosecutor states the incident appears to be an act of terrorism.

The gunman who shot multiple victims in Strasbourg had previously been convicted and was known to French intelligence as a possible 'security risk, ' yet managed to slip through the cracks despite tightened security across France.

One police source said Chekatt's criminal record mentions 25 judicial cases, including several serious cases of robbery. They found explosive materials, he said.

Mr Morisse said that after the evening shooting, soldiers guarding the Christmas market shot and wounded the suspect before he escaped.

People in the city's Neudorf area and Etoile Park were told to stay where they were, as officers hunted the shooter on the ground and from the air. "It lasted about 10 minutes". After that I closed the shutters.

Bazard continued: "There were two or three episodes like that". I got close to the window. "There were a lot of screams".

"I thought maybe it's firecrackers", he said, speaking by phone. "People were running everywhere".

Several areas neighbouring the Christmas market were sealed off on Tuesday night and residents were being told to stay indoors.

Three dead, many injured in shooting near Christmas market in Strasbourg, France

The motive of the alleged shooting has not been confirmed at this time. "Officers said he had shot at soldiers patrolling as part of the nationwide Operation Sentinelle, reportedly injuring one of them", reports the outlet.

The attack unfolded at around 20:00 local time (8am NZT) close to Strasbourg's famed Christmas market.

Officers chased the gunman for more than two hours before they cornered him and there was a shootout.

"A$3 decision has been taken, as a precautionary measure, to close the European Parliament building in Strasbourg", read a message sent to members of the European Parliament. Its president says that legislative sessions will continue for the rest of the week.

A large-scale manhunt is under way for a suspected extremist gunman who killed three near a Christmas market in Strasbourg.

A taxi driver, flagged down by the gunman and ordered to take him out of the city centre, told police the suspect had been injured in firefights.

The shooting has been treated as a terrorist attack, the Paris counter-terrorism prosecutor's office told ABC News.

Hours before the shooting, French gendarmes went to the suspect's home to arrest him, but he wasn't there, Stephane Morisse of police union FGP said. Lights were switched off and bottles of water handed out.

Strasbourg, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) east of Paris, is on the border with Germany.

Mr Macron then arrived for a crisis meeting with cabinet officials in Paris shortly after midnight. Strasbourg is par excellence a city symbol of the Peace & Democracy of Europe. "Values that we will always defend".

The attack comes almost two years after Berlin's Christmas market was the site of a truck attack, which killed 12 people and left more injured.

Gunman on the run after three killed in Strasbourg shooting