Strasbourg terrorist dies in shootout with French police
ASTANA. KAZINFORM - Cherif Chekatt, the terrorist who killed three people and wounded 13 others in downtown Strasbourg earlier in the week was gunned down by French police on Thursday during a security operation in this eastern city after an intense two-day manhunt, EFE reports.
"Thanks to the collected mobilized services, to the police, gendarmes and soldiers. Our commitment against terrorism is total," French President Emmanuel Macron said in a brief Twitter message.
The operation took place at 9 pm in Strasbourg's Neudorf district, where Chekatt grew up and where his parents live.
Authorities had asked for the public's help in tracking down Chekatt and according to Paris daily Le Figaro, a woman saw a wounded man who resembled the fugitive and called the police.
Three police acted on the tip and when they attempted to arrest Chekatt, he turned on them and opened fire, whereupon the officers fired back, killing him - Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in brief remarks to the press in Strasbourg.
On Thursday, the Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the Strasbourg Christmas market attack, with the Amaq news agency, which is linked to the jihadist group, stating that the shooting was carried out by a "soldier" of the IS.
In the search for Chekaff, which began immediately after the shooting Tuesday night, more than 700 police and security personnel had been deployed and French border security had been beefed up, given the fear that he might try to flee into nearby Germany.
Chekatt's parents, two of his brothers and a person close to him have been under detention since Tuesday, while two of his sisters came to provide statements to authorities on Thursday but were not arrested.
Earlier in the evening, Castaner said that three of the 13 wounded were released from the hospital on Thursday, while three others were in very serious condition, hovering between life and death.
The medical exams and security camera videotapes showed that during the attack, in which Chekatt used an automatic pistol and a knife, he pointed his gun directly at his victims' heads and fired at point-blank range.
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