Prime Minister Mark Rutte reacted in horror to reports of a shooting at a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday evening. At least three people were killed and 12 injured, six of whom are in a serious condition, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner confirmed, BBC reports.
“Horrible reports about the shooting in Strasbourg”, the Dutch Prime Minister said on Twitter. “My thoughts are with the victims and their next of kin. I have conveyed my condolences to President Emmanuel Macron.”
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet received any indication that any of the victims are Dutch. The Ministry is in contact with the local authorities and is keeping an eye on the situation in Strasbourg.
The French police are hunting the gunman who opened fire near Strasbourg’s famous Christmas market at around 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday. The man was already known to the French security services as a possible terrorist threat, the local police said, according to BBC. Minister Castaner said that 350 security agents are hunting for the man, border controls have been strengthened, and security at all Christmas markets will be stepped up.
The European Parliament, which is located nearby the scene of the attack, was placed on lockdown. On Twitter the parliament’s president Antonio Tajani said that it “will not be intimidated by terrorist or criminal attacks”. “I express all my sorrow for the victims”, he said. “Let us move on. We will continue to work and react strengthened by freedom and democracy against terrorist violence.”