Strasbourg Christmas market reopens ′for honor of France′ | News | DW | 14.12.2018
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Strasbourg Christmas market reopens 'for honor of France'

Authorities in the French city of Strasbourg have reopened the local Christmas market three days after it was hit by a terror attack. Meanwhile, another victim of the shooting passed away, raising the death toll to four.

Watch video 02:59

Strasbourg Christmas market reopens after attack

Strasbourg's Christmas market once again welcomed visitors on Friday after it was closed for three days following the deadly shooting and stabbing attack committed by 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt.

French officials made the decision hours before the police found and killed the suspected attacker in Strasbourg's Neudorf neighborhood on Thursday night.

"We took that decision for the honor of Strasbourg, for the honor of France," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said. "In the face of attacks as violent as the one we suffered on Tuesday, we can show that our country, our republic can hold its head high."

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the city on Friday evening to pay his respects to the victims. He laid a single white rose on the Kleber monument where local residents had formed a makeshift shrine.

Citizens are 'relieved'

Chekatt opened fire at the visitors of the Christmas market on Tuesday and was shot by French soldiers before fleeing the scene. Despite his wounds, he managed to take a taxi to the city's southwest area of Neudorf.

He was located by police working off a phone tip on Thursday and opened fire at officers. Police returned fire and killed the 29-year-old.

Watch video 03:59

Why did it take so long to find Strasbourg attacker?

Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries said the news of Chekatt's death would "help to get back to a life that I would describe as normal.

"With the death of this terrorist ... citizens, like me, are relieved," Ries said.

Meanwhile, French officials said another victim of the Tuesday attack has died, bringing the death toll to four. The man was identified as Italian journalist Antonio Megalizzi, who was in Strasbourg to cover the European parliament.

Another person has been declared braindead. 

Read more: Strasburg terror suspect had criminal past in Germany

Millions of guests

French troops have been deployed to the open air market in Strasbourg.

"It's reopening just in time," said Bernard Kuntz, who sells Indian scarves and stoles at a market stall. "We were getting worried. Some of the guys have taken out loans to be here, and we've already lost two days."

Strasbourg has welcomed visitors to the Christmas market since the early 15th century. City officials said that over two million people come to the event every year.

dj/sms (dpa, Reuters)

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