STRASBOURG – A French Muslim man passed away on Thursday, December 13, two days after being shot and left in coma by a gunman at a Strasbourg’s Christmas market on the evening of December 11, EuroNews reported.
“My brother Kamal is a 45-year-old mechanic who has three children. He hass lived in France for 18 years and has French nationality,” said his brother, Mokhtar Naghchband.
According to Paris prosecutor, Remi Heitz, the Christkindelsmärik market attack was carried out by a 29-year-old French Algerian identified as Chérif Chekatt, killing three people and leaving twelve wounded, six of whom are in a critical condition, including Kamal, who later passed on.
The gunman, who is on the run, is on France’s “fiche S” watch list of individuals thought to pose a security risk to the country.
The lone wolf attack started at 19:50 then the shooter left the area by taxi and remains at large.
In light of that, the French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced that the country’s “Vigipirate” security threat level would be raised in light of the attack.
Commenting on the attack, Eyup Şahin, regional president of Strasbourg’s Eyyûb Sultan Mosque said, “We’re bereaved because our city of Strasbourg, an exemplary city in terms of living together, was hit hard by a murderous act.”
The annual Christmas market ‘Christkindelsmärik’ in Strasbourg draws in approximately two million visitors each year. Estimates show that the city gets up to a 16 million Euros profit from this 38-day-long tradition.
In 2013, Strasbourg’s metropolitan area had a population of 773,347, mostly Alsatian Germanics, without counting the section across the border in Germany.
The city, which stands as one of the de facto capitals of the EU, hosts the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque, inaugurated in 2012 and has a capacity of 1,200 people.
The majority of the city’s Muslim community is formed out of North African Muslims, especially Moroccans.