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  1. ITV Report

Strasbourg Christmas market gunman ‘wanted dead or alive’

Chérif Chekatt is being hunted by police across the German/French border. Credit: AP

A fifth person has been arrested as part of the investigation into the Strasbourg Christmas market shooting as French and German police continue to hunt for the gunman two days after the attack that left three people dead and 13 injured, including five critically.

A police operation was launched on Thursday afternoon in the Strasbourg neighbourhood where 29-year-old suspect Chérif Chekatt was last seen on the "supposition" that he could be hiding in a building nearby.

The Paris prosecutor's office said they had detained a member of Chekatt's "entourage" on Thursday morning.

Police in Strasbourg believed Chekatt could have been hiding in a building near where he was last seen. Credit: AP

Chekatt's parents and two of his brothers are also currently in custody as more than 700 officers continue to hunt for the Strasbourg local.

Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said police forces searching for Chekatt had been instructed to find the suspect "as soon as possible," no matter whether he was dead or alive, and "put an end to the manhunt."

Following the attacks, the government raised the terror alert to its highest level nationwide, while 1,800 additional soldiers have been deployed across France to help patrol streets and secure crowded events, although there are concerns the suspect had already fled the country.

There was a heavy armed police presence in Strasbourg following the attack Credit: AP

Photos of Chekatt have been distributed with the warning: "Individual dangerous, above all do not intervene."

The suspect was reported to have shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic) as he launched his attack armed with a handgun and knife at just before 8pm on Tuesday.

One of the dead was named as Thai tourist 45-year-old Anupong Suebsamarn who was travelling with his wife.

Cherif Chekatt, the suspect in the shooting in Strasbourg, France Credit: French Police via AP

Mr Suebsamarn's uncle told newspaper Khao Sod the couple had originally planned to visit Paris, but the yellow vest protests led them to change their plans, choosing to go to Strasbourg instead.

Radio station EuroPhonica confirmed two members of its staff were among the injured, including 28-year-old Italian journalist Antonio Megalizzi who is in a critical condition.

People had laid flowers and lit candles at the site of the attack and the Christmas market remained closed on Thursday.

People pay respect and light candles the night following the shooting in Strasbourg Credit: Christophe Ena/AP

On Wednesday evening, people prayed and sang in the nearby Protestant Church Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune.

Pastor Philippe Eber said this is a moment “to think of those who died in this city because of violence. We also are thinking about all of those who weep for them, the families”.

Strasbourg resident Tassia Konstantinidis said “it’s important to have a period of mourning and to remember the victims”.

French soldiers patrol in the streets following the attack which left at least three dead. Credit: AP

Chekatt had run-ins with police from the age of 10 and his first conviction was at 13 and had been convicted 27 times, mostly in France but also in Switzerland and Germany, for crimes including armed robbery.