this is bbc news. i'm babita sharma, with a bbc world news special programme on the attack in strasbourg. sirens lockdown in the french city of strasbourg, after a gunman opens fire near a busy christmas market. at least four people are reported dead, according to local officials, and several others injured. screaming one eyewitness overlooking the scene filmed the immediate reaction to the attack. what happened was, i heard two distinct noises, but i took them to be firecrackers. but as i turned a corner, i saw one person on the ground with a wound. while the gunman remains at large, french president emmanuel macron has attended an emergency session with security staff in paris. welcome to bbc world news.
about five hours ago, a gunman opened fire on a christmas market in strasbourg. and, according to the mayor of the city, four people have been killed, several others injured. the attack took place in the city centre. police say they have exchanged fire with the attacker, who was known to the security forces. the city, which is home to the european parliament, has been placed on lockdown, although meps and journalists have now been told they can leave. officials said he'd been previously identified as a national security risk. local media are reporting that police raided the suspect‘s home on tuesday morning, but he managed to avoid arrest. we will have more live from strasbourg. first, with an update, lucy williamson reports from paris.
france tonight relived the terror of another attack. in the narrow streets around strasbourg's christmas market, riot police hunted a gunman who opened fire on the crowds here. his gunshots initially mistaken by one witness for fireworks. screaming this footage shows the moment one of the victims was shot amid the chaos and panic of christmas revellers. pater fritz witnessed one of the attacks. well, what i heard shortly after 8pm, i should say, were two distinct gunshots and people fleeing the place. now, i wasn't sure these were actually gunshots, and i went around the corner and ifound a person with, apparently, two shots into the head lying on the bridge here. we tried to engage in resuscitation activities. we took him into a restaurant, which i'm in right now, and we tried for 45 minutes to resuscitate him. the gunman is reportedly known to security services and is now on the run. the french government has told people to stay where they are. lawmakers and staff have been locked
into the european parliament, just 15 minutes away from the scene. yes, our situation is exceptional. we cannot leave the building. well, with streets are empty, you know, people have been asked to vacate the streets, to stay inside. any hotels and restaurants, all the doors are locked, keeping people inside. and indeed in the european parliament itself. the president of the european commission said tonight that strasbourg was a symbolic city of peace and democracy, values he said that we will always defend. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. a short time ago, president emmanuel macron arrived for a crisis meeting with cabinet official, this is the scene, where he will be briefed by security services. we understand emmanuel
macron himself is going to address journalists here at the interior ministry building in paris. this is the scene live, where it's just gone 2am in the morning. we are waiting to hear from 2am in the morning. we are waiting to hearfrom him. we know that the french counterterrorism department has said this is now an ongoing investigation. the latest reports we're hearing is that the attacker, the gunman, is still at large with a huge security and police search for him under way. there were reports that the gunmen exchanged gunfire with the police some hours ago and then managed to escape. on confirmed reports that he sustained gunshot wound in that. we haven't had confirmation on that. the mayor of the city confirming to reuters news agency, and afp, that at least four people have lost their lives in strasberg, the christmas market,
which is a huge tourist attraction this time of year as you can imagine, attracting millions every year, thousands at this time of year and this was the scene little earlier. reports were heard of those gunshots by eyewitnesses there. another area of interest has been the south district of strasbourg which is where the gunman is believed to have resided, and was a point of investigation during dawn raids where the police carried out an operation investigating robberies, and entered the gunman‘s home, the suspect, he was not there and managed to escape arrest there. but, as we are saying, we are waiting to hear from the manual macron and we understand he might speak with the interior minister there in paris for a briefing. watching events unfold is live in
brussels for us, kasia madera, and, kasia, interesting to hear what the french have said regarding the attempt to locate and attained the gunman. yes, because this is an operation thatis yes, because this is an operation that is still very much active in terms of the search for this gunman, so terms of the search for this gunman, so the figures, the kind of detailed at we're getting, there is still a lot of discrepancy. ultimately the most important thing is that the government is still on the loose and authorities, security services very much want to get a hold of him. events started much earlier on in the day at around 8pm in the evening local time, when the shooting took place near the christmas market, the incredibly famous, very popular christmas market near one of the central squares, place de la cathedrale, lasted around ten minutes, spread across three
separate streets and we believe to make people were killed, but that figure could change somewhat after we hear from figure could change somewhat after we hearfrom president macron. we are expecting some kind of confirmation from him. now, we know that initially earlier on tuesday morning, much earlier on tuesday morning, much earlier on tuesday morning, there was a dawn raid on a property in the south—east area of strasbourg, it's called neudorf, and this is the area where we believe it was the gunman‘s residence, there we re was the gunman‘s residence, there were police raids, then a shooting took place much later on, ten minutes worth of shooting near the christmas market and, as you were saying, babita, this is a really popular christmas market, millions of people visit this place — it is incredibly popular. and we have heard from the mayor of strasbourg
who says that the market will be closed on wednesday. the activities that take place, the cultural spectaculars will be halted on wednesday as a sign of respect for those people who have lost their lives and of course, not least, this is still an ongoing situation. now, residents in neudorf have been urged to stay in doors amid those reports that the gunman has been tracked to that the gunman has been tracked to that area, but, as i say, this is still an ongoing operation, very much an active operation, and security services as well in pursuit of this man. we know that he is 29 yea rs old of this man. we know that he is 29 years old and he was known to the security services. he was on a so—called list of hundreds of thousands people monitored by the security services who are believed
asa security services who are believed as a potential security threat, but when you have so many different people on the list, then obviously not everyone will be under surveillance. it is just simply impossible. the criteria to get on the list is particularly low. so hundreds of thousands of people are on the list. but this is a man who was known to authorities. 0k, kasia, iam going was known to authorities. 0k, kasia, i am going to interrupt you now, because we have received information from president macron himself. i did state earlier as we looked at the scene live in paris we are expecting to hear some kind of a briefing from that emergency session there that we might hearfrom that emergency session there that we might hear from the that emergency session there that we might hearfrom the president himself. that is to be confirmed. we may well not. he has just tweeted, saying that he gives solidarity with the whole of the people at this hour. we think that we will hear from the interior minister himself,
christophe castaner, who has been one of the first people to talk to the press about the incident in strasbourg a little earlier. but, as we saw, the french president attending the meeting, he said the solidarity, the entire nation is with the victims and their families in strasbourg at this allah. we continue to bring you the scene live, where we will of course update you —— this hour. in particular, expecting to hear about the operation and whether or not — unconfirmed reports that the gunman has been to —— cornered by police but we haven't been able to confirm that as yet. all we know from a number of news agencies is that the gunman is at large. that is news we got about half an hour ago. we know that the death toll, according to local sources in strasbourg, has risen from two now to four. it was
at harrowing incident for those who witnessed the shooting. the bbc spoke earlier with pater fritz, an eyewitness who tried to resuscitate a thai tourist who was shot by the gunman. as you will hear, it took more than 45 minutes for proper medical attention to arrive. well, i was witnessed to apparently the first incident that happened. and what happened was i heard two distinct noises, but i took them to be firecrackers. but, when i turned around the corner, i did see one person on the ground with an apparent headshot wound, at least one, and his wife standing close by. he's a tourist from thailand, about in his 30s. we tried our best to resuscitate him, we tried cpr, we dragged into a restaurant close by, we had help from some medical people from germany, but it took more than
45 minutes for an ambulance to appear. maybe the ambulance's way was blocked as well because of security precautions. and how is the man, were you able to resuscitate him? after 45 minutes, man, were you able to resuscitate him? after45 minutes, we man, were you able to resuscitate him? after 45 minutes, we were told over the phone by an emergency doctor that any further efforts would be futile. he is still here in this restaurant, but we have abandoned all hope for him and now the authorities are carrying out an investigation. so, just to be clear, you have the body of someone who has been killed this evening in a restau ra nt, been killed this evening in a restaurant, and the authorities are not coming to collect that body or to treat it? well, yes, no, right now they are doing everything they have to do, but, of course, this is being treated as a prime site, and therefore they won't go ahead and move him until they have an exact picture of the situation. well, this is absolutely a terrible development, both for the man who
has lost his life, and for those of you who have been caught up in this. there is quite a lot of are still here. we are still in shock. we are unhurt. i am sure it is unimaginable for her this evening. was this man the only person who was injured close to you, or were there other people who were struck by bullets? close to me, that was the only incident i witnessed, but i figure there are has been some further incident, because i was on the edge of the christmas market, on the outer perimeter, and apparently something that has happened inside the christmas market as well. pater, are you able to describejimmy white happening in the building where you are at the moment. how many people are at the moment. how many people are there, what is the situation? are at the moment. how many people are there, what is the situation7m isa are there, what is the situation7m is a restaurant, it is a typical strasbourg restaurant, winetasting place, and people arejust strasbourg restaurant, winetasting place, and people are just sitting and being interrogated by the police. and, as for whatever they
can witness. what have the police said to you? well, right now, i was so said to you? well, right now, i was so busy talking to my station and talking to the bbc. they haven't been approached yet. and in terms of when they might let you leave, are they giving any indication when people will be able to go outside ain? people will be able to go outside again? not yet, no. i mean, i might even be able to go outside, but i wouldn't think it would be totally a wise move. and with this apparently dead person lying in the middle of the entrance hallway, i would more oi’ the entrance hallway, i would more or less have to tread over him, so i'd rather not. there would be a lot of people who are listening who would be shocked at the situation that you are in, and are concerned for the wife of the man who has died. he/she —— is she receiving the kind of support she very much needs at the moment? yes, definitely, she
is being treated at the moment. i have heard talk of taking her to the psychiatric emergency ward for the night. and when this happened earlier, how quickly did the attack began and finish? it was a matter of seconds. it was two shots being fired and that took more or less one oi’ fired and that took more or less one or two seconds. and when it was happening, did you have any idea where those shots were coming from? no, no. iwas where those shots were coming from? no, no. i was around the corner, i didn't even take it too seriously. it sounded like some firecrackers to me. and as we are talking, we are seeing lots of police on the streets now. but, at the time, was there are the police presence in that part of strasbourg? well, there was the usual presence. the christmas market in strasbourg is obviously, and has been for a long while, a matter of
interest, a matter of focus when it comes to police work. it is the biggest such market in france, and of course there was always talk of this maybe one day being a target. well, pater, we appreciate you speaking to us. i am imagining the atmosphere in this restaurant is one of profound shock. yes, that's true, but also some kind of agitation. i mean, the people are, you know, trying to help, try to help the police, trying to help the wife of the victim. so, yeah, everybody is just trying to do their best. that was an eyewitness account by pater fritz, given to my colleague ros atkins some hours ago, about two hours after the shooting occurred at the christmas market in strasbourg. a harrowing account of what he saw. ijust want i just want to give you a ijust want to give you a line of information from our editor gavin lee, saying journalists and meps are
being told they can leave the european parliament in strasbourg after being ordered to remain inside the 5.5 hours during the man—hunt for the gunman. many places are in lockdown and the city itself has been completely evacuated as this operation continues to locate the man himself. let's get more now on the counterterrorism operation that is under way the moment. with me is drjoseph downing, who is an expert on french security and politics at the london school of economics. forgive me, joseph, i am just going to interrupt you by heading straight to interrupt you by heading straight to paris, where this is the scene live, where we are going to hear a statement, possibly in french, so we will try and get a translation on that in english, but we will listen. speaking french. 0k, as we thought,
the press conference there in french. we will get you an update on the information coming from that security briefing in paris. we understand that president macron has sent his security minister to strasbourg to facilitate what is now an ongoing terrorist operation to locate the gunman at the moment. watching and listening to that is doctorjoseph downing. forgive me for interrupting as we continue with this breaking news. obviously an active situation to locate the man. the latest is that he remains at large. talk us through the systems in place in france for an investigation of this kind, when we look at a investigation. yes, so what has been confirmed so far by the french authorities is that the
prosecutor has opened officially specifically terrorist investigation. so will enable the french security service to kind of spring into action and work under that sort of common rubric that this is some kind of terror related type of incident. so they will be looking at making connections between the individual that they have as a suspect, to see what networks he is associated with, if any, to see what other individuals he is associated with, if any, to see what crime networks he is associated with, if any, and to begin the sort of map out that bigger picture of a social network. that really has enabled this attack to take place, even if this attack to take place, even if this is someone who has acted on their own, they would have got commands to do it from somewhere. is it possible for this individual to be totally alone? he may have got the commands under the pretence of committing a crime, he arms are easy to come by. police have confirmed
they have seized stun grenades from they have seized stun grenades from the suspect‘s apartment this morning. it is a frighteningly common occurrence. morning. it is a frighteningly common occurrence. indeed, and more details, joseph, emerging as we continue to watch that briefing. let's ta ke continue to watch that briefing. let's take you to the scene live where i can tell you some information that is being told to us from the french interior minister. the person speaking at the moment is christophe castaner, who is confirming that three people have been killed in this gun attack in strasbourg. that is three people. and he has also confirmed that the shooter is still on the run. this is a press co nfe re nce shooter is still on the run. this is a press conference that you are watching live on bbc news, after an emergency session in paris was held with the president, macron, the interior minister and the security services, and this is the press briefing which is currently under way there. as we had initially
reported, joseph, the gunman is still at large. hugely worrying and incredibly trying time for the security services, as utmost importance will be for them to detain and track this man. definitely, and anyone that has ever looked at any kind of investigation or counter—insurgency that has taken place in a built—up urban area will know that trying to find a particular individual in a given moment is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. and they will i think the rightly very concerned as to whether this individual seeks to go out in a kind of blaze of glory. will he seek to make a last and like some of the individuals involved in a previous siege in paris. this is the absolute worst outcome for the security services. and as we see them vacate that room, they have left a short time ago, and we understand the french interior minister has emphasised that border
controls have been strengthened. we saw that in london, with the paris attacks, the charlie hebdo attacks in 2015, but that is an immediate and strategic response. definitely, and strategic response. definitely, and the geography of the region makes it important, because strasbourg is very close to the border with germany. and the last thing that the kind of french security force will want is this security force will want is this security situation to spell out into another european states, to have the conductor man—hunt or man—hunt over in german territory. they will seek to contain this if they can. let's just talk about what we know about the suspect. we understand him to be a 29—year—old male that was living in the south district of strasbourg, an area called neudorf which was the point of a dawn raid on tuesday with police investing robberies in the area, and the gunmen mac gunman's home was in fact raided. he was not there at the time. what is your
assessment of what we can link from that to what has occurred later on today? well, indeed, pretty much anyone that has committed a terror attack on french soil, and many of those that commit terror attacks on british soil in the past decade, actually have this profile, but they are actually have this profile, but they a re often involved actually have this profile, but they are often involved in petty and violent crime. in front specifically this is a huge issue, because the proliferation of arms into even very petty crimes is quite serious. so often you will have corner shops or cigarette kiosk is held up with assault rifles, which is deeply worrying. so these individuals can use those criminal networks if they wa nt to use those criminal networks if they want to can commit some kind of act of mass violence, they can get quite serious weapons. that is not the kind of be all and end all of terrorism. we can see the nice attack they used the lorry, for example. shore, and it has the
hallmarks of what we saw in brussels, as well. and in continental europe it is a massive problem. can ijust ask continental europe it is a massive problem. can i just ask you continental europe it is a massive problem. can ijust ask you about the watch list we are hearing a lot about, that we understand the suspect was known to the authorities, he was on what they call a watchlist in france. talk me through what that is exactly and what criteria it requires for a name to be put on there. well, it's a very sort of very euro cradock, very complex and very french approach to trying to build a typology of those that are threats to the state. so he is under the s category, there are many other categories, and to get on to that list above entry is quite low, and getting on that list actually doesn't mean very much. as your fellow reporter said, there are upwards of 400,000 people on watchlist in france. they could be bankrobbers, they could be radical anarchists, they could be mafia figures, they can be a whole range of different people. so you don't actually have to do that much, and
getting on that list doesn't actually come with an obligation for surveillance orfor actually come with an obligation for surveillance or for the curtailment of freedom, that is down to a judge, and this is for me where i see that system being not fit for purpose. it sucks into broader net of individuals for any sort of deep analysis to be undertaken. we will hear more from you, but for now, thank you very much. france has heightened its terror alert activities since a number of attacks dating back to 2015 with those charlie hebdo attacks you may remember. a reminder of our breaking news, gunman has struck in strasbourg some five hours ago. we understand from an emergency briefing session in paris that three people were killed in the attack and that the gunman is still on the run. this is breaking news, stay with us for more from bbc news. hello.
you can expect a definite chill in the air over the next few days, particularly as a biting wind picks up. for western parts of the uk, there is a little bit of rain in the forecast. what we've got on the satellite picture from a little earlier on is this stripe of cloud. it's a frontal system pushing in from the atlantic. it is bringing some outbreaks of rain, but whereas we might expect a front to sweep through, bringing rain for all of us, this front is running up against some resistance. this area of high pressure blocking the front‘s progress. so it won't get much further than the south—west of england, wales, northern ireland, south—west scotland, here some rain, but elsewhere, wednesday getting off to a largely dry if rather cloudy start, with the odd fog patch. through the day, we should see bright conditions spreading from the east, so more in the way of sunshine, but with that some colder air spreading in from the east, as well.
the mildest weather will be in the west, 10 degrees in belfast, in stornoway and in plymouth. as we go through wednesday evening into the night, we'll see more clear skies filtering through. still a bit of patchy cloud, but where the skies stay clear and starry for a length of time where you are. it is going to get a little bit chilly. you see the pale green and blue colours here on our temperature chart. our towns and cities around two, three, four degrees with some spots in the countryside can expect a touch of frost. and then into thursday — well, this weather battleground continues. frontal systems still trying to bring rain in from the west, high pressure blocking their progress, and around this high, at this stage we'll have an increasingly brisk east or south—easterly wind, and that is going to make it feel cold. on thursday, any wet weather really confined to the far south—west of the country, particularly parts of cornwall. elsewhere, largely dry apart from the odd shower, just sprinkling in across the north sea coast. there will be some spells of sunshine, but look at the strength of the wind, particularly in some southern
and western areas. and temperatures, well, on the thermometer, not particularly impressive, but add on the strength of the wind, this is what it is going to feel like. if you're spending your day in the channel islands, it'll feel subzero, norwich and birmingham feeling like freezing. a very, very chilly feel to the day. now, on friday the winds will be lighter, it may not feel as cold even though the temperatures will still be quite low. a change as we get on into saturday, because those fronts in the atlantic will make a bit more progress by this stage. we'll see some windy weather, some very wet weather for some, and as the front runs into cold air, especially over high ground in the north, there could be some snow. you're watching bbc news. i'm babita sharma. our top story: a gunman has opened fire in the french city of strasbourg near a busy christmas market. at least four people have been killed, according to the local mayor, and more than 11 others injured. security forces engaged the gunman in a ten minute shootout. he managed to escape.
much of the city, including the nearby european parliament, remain closed off. officials said the attacker had been previously identified as a national security risk. local media are reporting that police raided the suspect‘s home on tuesday morning, finding a number of grenades, but he managed to avoid arrest. french authorities have launched a carrot investigation and the french president, a manual macron, has expressed solidarity for the victims involved in the attack —— emmanual macron. and the top story in the uk: