Photo Credit: Police nationale de France
Cherif Chekatt

Terrorist suspect Cherif Chekatt, 29, was shot and killed by French police Thursday in a firefight that took place in the Neudorf district of Strasbourg, not far from the site of his attack Tuesday on a Christmas market. Three people were killed and a dozen others were wounded in the shooting.

The shootout took place when police officers recognized Chekatt walking on the street. Stopping to question the suspect, he responded by opening fire in return. Police fired back, and Chekatt was shot and killed in the exchange.

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French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters, “As I am speaking to you, I am thinking about the victims and the wounded. I am thinking of those close to them. I am thinking of Strasbourg and France that was hit by this terrible attack.”

Chekatt had an extensive criminal background, with arrests and a total of 27 convictions in France, Germany and Switzerland, including for acts of violence. He also appeared on a French intelligence terror and radicalization watch list called “Fiche S.”

A third person succumbed to their wounds and died as well, raising the death toll from the terror attack to three. Five of the wounded remain in serious condition, and eight others are listed in good condition, according to Strasbourg police.

Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries expressed “relief … to know that the attacker has been killed,” and added that the city’s Christmas market would reopen Friday.

Five people are currently in custody in connection with the attack, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office.

Strasbourg is the host city for the European Parliament; it is also the home of the European Ombudsman of the European Union and the Eurocorps, as well as the Council of Europe (including the European Court of Human Rights, the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and the European Audiovisual Observatory.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.