French police have shot dead Cherif Chekatt , who police believe was behind the Strasbourg Christmas market attack that killed three people on Tuesday.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner confirmed Thursday evening that police shot Cherif Chekatt after he fired at them in a street in Strasbourg's Neudorf neighborhood. Authorities said the suspect was armed with a knife and pistol.
Hours after the incident took place, the news agency of the terrorist organization "Islamic State" (IS) said Cherif Chekatt was an IS miltant, but provided no evidence for the claim.
The 29-year-old suspect had been the target of a massive international manhunt, in which 700 officers sought to apprehend him over the course of 48 hours.
The killing came at the end of a day of intense police activity that included a number of agents from France's elite RAID tactical unit.
Earlier in the day a fifth person, who police say was a member of Cherif Chekatt's "entourage," was arrested and taken into custody. Four family members, the suspect's parents and two brothers, have also been detained by authorities in connection with Tuesday's shooting.
Known to authorities
French investigators are treating Tuesday's Christmas market attack, in which three people died, one person was left brain-dead and at least twelve were injured, as an of terrorism.
Witnesses to the incident told police that the shooter had shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great") before he opened fire.
French prosecutors say Cherif Chekatt had been on a state security watch list and that he is believed to have developed extremist religious views while serving multiple prison sentences in France, Germany and Switzerland for non-terrorism offences.
amp, js/bw (AP, dpa, Reuters)