One person has been killed while six others were wounded in a shooting that took place in Strasbourg- an eastern French City.
The gunman hasn’t been caught yet and the the Interior Ministry has confirmed a “serious public security incident” in the city and urged residents to stay indoors.
The shooting happened near a Christmas Market in a central square called Place Kleber
According to reports and security officials have locked the crime scene area and trams have been stopped.
Local journalist Bruno Poussard wrote on Twitter that there had been a dozen shots fired on his street in the city centre – one or two to begin with, then in bursts.
Emmanuel Foulon, a press officer for the European Parliament, wrote that there was “panic” in the centre following the sound of gunfire and that police with guns were running through the streets.
A shopkeeper told BFM TV: “There were gun shots and people running everywhere. It lasted about 10 minutes.”
The European Parliament in Strasbourg has been sealed off with no-one able to leave or enter the building.
British MEP Richard Corbett tweeted that he was in a restaurant in the city and the doors had been locked.
The famed Christmas Market at Strasbourg became the scene of violence as a gunman killed at least three people and wounded a dozen others before fleeing the scene. A manhunt followed soon after the killer opened fire at around 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) on one of the city’s busiest streets, sending crowds of evening shoppers fleeing for safety.
Soldiers who were patrolling the area as part of their regular anti-terror operations opened fire on the suspect and wounded him, but could not stop him from escaping. The Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said that the gunman had killed three people and wounded 12. This was an emergency attack that led to the tightening up of security to ensure that there would be no copycat attack. The gunman has been identified and was on a watchlist of suspected extremists according to a statement from local security services.
France’s security forces are on high alert after a series of terror attacks in the country since 2015. Soon after the shooting, several police vehicles and ambulances streamed into the market area which was filled with festive lights declaring the city the “capital of Christmas.” President Emmanuel Macron held a crisis meeting with cabinet officials in Paris shortly after midnight.