Strasbourg market terror attacker Cherif Chekatt wanted dead or alive

French President Emmanuel Macron pays tribute to the attack victims in Strasbourg

Strasbourg: Hundreds of French anti-terror police are hunting for a fugitive gunman who attacked Christmas shoppers at a market in the eastern city of Strasbourg, officials said Wednesday.

But Castaner said the "individual corresponds to the description of the person sought since Tuesday night", 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt.

Three people were killed in the attack and several others injured, police said.

The suspect had a string of criminal convictions and had become a radical Islamist while in prison.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner is expected to make a statement.

The suspect, whose identity is yet to be confirmed, was found in the Neudorf neighborhood of the city armed with a knife and pistol, officials said.

A judicial official said that Chekatt's father and two brothers were among four people taken into custody as part of the investigation.

Immigration Bureau chief Surachate Hakparn said he will meet French diplomats in Thailand today to discuss ways of assisting the dead man's wife.

National police distributed a photo of the wounded fugitive, identified as Cherif Chekatt, with the warning: "Individual unsafe, above all do not intervene".

The gunman opened fire at the famed Strasbourg Christmas market, which draws thousands of visitors every year.

The area had been cordoned off by police earlier in the day by members of France's elite RAID force as part of a search by more than 700 police officers.

Department of Information chief Busadee Santipitaks said diplomats were helping her with accommodation and will work closely with French police if further developments arise.

Authorities are searching for Cherif Chekatt, the main suspect in the Strasbourg attack.

Asked about instructions given to police forces, Griveaux said the focus was on catching the suspect "as soon as possible", no matter whether he was dead or alive, and "put an end to the manhunt".

Mr Nunez said on France-Inter radio that police sought to arrest the man on Tuesday morning, hours before the shooting, in relation to an attempted murder.

Shortly after the shooting, lines of police vehicles and ambulances streamed into the market area, under festive lights declaring the city the "capital of Christmas". He is said to have been injured after exchanging fire with soldiers, but managed to escape and has not been seen since exiting the taxi in Neudorf.

According to Paris prosecutor Remi Heitz, witnesses reported hearing the gunman shout "Allahu Akbar", Arabic for "Allah is the greatest", during the onslaught.

He was also one of 25,000 people on the "S file" security risk - reserved for people suspected of extremism - and had been monitored since 2015.

The Christmas market, a hugely popular attraction in the historic city, remained closed on Thursday.

While some of the movement's representatives have said they are open to halting the protests to negotiate with the government, others have said its concessions are not enough, and have vowed to protest again in Paris this weekend. Five of those wounded were in serious condition, authorities said.

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