Strasbourg remembers victims of the Christmas market attack


PARIS (AP) – Residents of the eastern French city of Strasbourg filled a city square Sunday for a memorial to the four people shot dead and the dozen wounded by a gunman at their famous Christmas market.

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

According to the local newspaper DNA, more than 1,000 people attended the memorial, which ended with a minute of 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,” 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 neighborhood where he grew up.

French authorities are still investigating the Strasbourg Christmas market 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.

Residents react during a gathering in a central square of the eastern French city of Strasbourg, Sunday Dec.16, 2018 to pay homage to the victims of a gunman who killed four people and wounded a dozen more. The gathering was held in Kleber Square by a Christmas market and near where the gunman opened fire last Tuesday evening. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)