A Thai holidaymaker killed in a shooting near Strasbourg’s Christmas market had just arrived in the country to take in the festive sights.
Anupong Suebsamarn was one of three people shot dead by a suspected extremist gunman, who is still on the run despite a massive manhunt involving hundreds of officers.
The 45-year-old victim was on holiday with his wife Naina and another couple – who were all pictured together on a flight to France shortly before the tragedy, Thai media reported.
The group had arrived in the country the day before Tuesday’s shooting and were due to travel to Paris on Thursday, it was reported.
Eyewitnesses had previously said that a Thai holidaymaker had been shot in the head and he did not respond to attempts to revive him.
Support is being offered to Anupong’s wife, who remains in France amid a manhunt for the gunman.
Namthip Fichot, president of a local Thai association in Provence, told Thairath that she was told that the couple had arrived in the country on Wednesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, police announced that three people were dead and 13 injured following the attack.
A massive manhunt was underway for the suspect – named as 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt, who was known to the intelligence services as a potential security risk.
It is believed that he was shot and wounded by security forces during a gun battle before he hijacked a taxi and fled.
It is possible that the Strasbourg-born suspect has fled the country, officials said.
Police sources told Reuters that some 600 members of the security forces were taking part in the manhunt.
France has raised its security threat to its highest level, strengthened border controls and asked Strasbourg residents and visitors to stay put.
German police also tightened border controls across the Rhine river.
France said the suspect had a police record, had been monitored for religious radicalisation and had been in jail several times in both France and Germany.
His home was raided on Tuesday morning as part of an investigation into an attempted homicide and robbery, but he was not in.
Officers found grenades and a rifle.
The anti-terrorism section of Paris’ prosecutor’s office is leading the investigation into the shooting.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said early on Wednesday that the shooter had evaded a police dragnet and was on the run, raising concerns of a follow-up attack.
The gunman exchanged shots with security forces twice as he escaped, Castaner added.
The Paris prosecutor said the motive for the attack was not known.
No-one immediately claimed responsibility, but the US-based Site intelligence group, which monitors jihadist websites, said Islamic State supporters were celebrating.
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