A man who had been flagged as a possible extremist sprayed gunfire near the famous Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday, killing three people, wounding up to a dozen and sparking a massive manhunt when he got away. France immediately raised its terror alert level.
It was unclear if the market - a popular gathering place and the nucleus of an al-Qaida-linked plot in 2000 - was the intended target. The assailant got inside a security zone around the venue and opened fire from there, Mayor Roland Ries said on BFM television.
The market, France's largest, is set up around the city's cathedral during the Christmas season.
Authorities did not give a motive for the shooting, though prosecutors said they had opened a terrorism investigation. Strasbourg, located in eastern France, is home to the European Parliament, one of several places put on an emergency lockdown after the shooting.
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