Sunday 16 June 2019

Strasbourg remembers victims of Christmas market attack

The city’s mayor Roland Ries praised the city’s resilience in the face of hardship.

Residents gathered to remember the victims (Jean-Francois Badias/AP)
Residents gathered to remember the victims (Jean-Francois Badias/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

The people of Strasbourg filled a square on Sunday to show respect and sympathy for the victims of last week’s shooting attack near the city’s famous Christmas market, as the death toll rose to five.

Poland’s state news agency PAP said a Pole who died in a Strasbourg hospital on Sunday had been one of the dozen people wounded in the attack  on Tuesday evening.

PAP identified him as a 36-year-old from Katowice, in Poland, and the Strasbourg regional administration  named him as Barto Orent-Niedzielski.

The hour-long ceremony took place in Kleber Square by the city’s Christmas market, near where the gunman opened fire.

According to the local newspaper DNA, more than 1,000 people attended the memorial, which ended with applause and a rendition of France’s national anthem, La Marseillaise.

Strasbourg mayor Roland Ries praised the city’s resilience in the face of hardship.

“The presence on Saturday of an extremely large crowd in the Christmas market was an illustration of our commitment to these values on which our living together is based, which we will continue to defend against all those who want to attack it,” Mr Ries said.

After the attack, French authorities launched a massive manhunt that ended Thursday night when the main suspect, Strasbourg-born Cherif Chekatt, 29, was killed in a shootout with police in the city neighbourhood where he grew up.

French authorities are still investigating the attack.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said two people close to the attacker were released on Sunday “in the absence of incriminating elements at this stage”.

Only one person of the seven detained after the attack was still being held.

Chekatt’s parents and two of his brothers, who had been held by police for questioning for several days, were released on Saturday.

Press Association

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