At least 2 dead after shots fired at French Christmas market

At least two people were killed and another eight wounded in a shooting near a Christmas market in the eastern French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday, according to France's interior minister, Christophe Castaner.

"There were gunshots and people running everywhere," one local shopkeeper told BFM TV. "It lasted about 10 minutes."

Police say the gunman is still at large. Castaner told reporters the suspect has been identified and is known to have a criminal record. 


The ministry called on the public to remain indoors and local authorities called on residents to follow police instructions.

"Our security and rescue services are mobilized," Castaner said.

Strasbourg, located about 500 kilometres east of Paris, is the seat of the European Parliament and on the border with Germany. The parliament has been shut down and no one is being allowed to leave. 

Police are investigating and a motive was not immediately clear. (Vincent Kessler/Reuters)

A source at the prosecutor's office said the motive behind the shooting was not immediately clear and that an investigation was underway.

France remains on high alert after a wave of attacks commissioned or inspired by Islamic State militants since early 2015, in which about 240 people have been killed.

French Ecology Minister Francois de Rugy tweeted: "Solidarity and support for the people of Strasbourg. Our support too for the security forces. We are united and determined to protect the French people."

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