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French city remembers victims of Christmas market attack

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    People once against in the streets as Strasbourg’s Christmas market reopens under the protection of police, in Strasbourg, France, on Saturday. French police shot and killed the man who they believed attacked Strasbourg’s Christmas market on Tuesday killing four people.

PARIS >> Residents of Strasbourg filled a square in the French city today to show respect and sympathy for the four people killed and the dozen wounded during a shooting attack near a famous Christmas market.

According to 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.”

The hour-long ceremony took place in Kleber Square, not far from where a gunman opened fire on Tuesday evening. Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries praised the city’s resilience in the face of hardship.

The “extremely large crowd in the Christmas market” on Saturday “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.

A massive manhunt for the gunman 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.

The attack remains under investigation. The Paris prosecutor’s office said two people who were close Chekatt were released from custody today “in the absence of incriminating elements at this stage.”

Only one of the seven people authorities detained while searching for Chekatt was still being held.

Chekatt’s parents and two of his brothers, who were held for questioning for several days, were released Saturday.

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