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Labour MEP speaks following Strasbourg shooting

PUBLISHED: 08:59 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:53 12 December 2018

East of England MEP Alex Mayer in European Parliament Picture: ALEX MAYER

East of England MEP Alex Mayer in European Parliament Picture: ALEX MAYER

Alex Mayer

Labour's MEP for the east of England who was in Strasbourg during the suspected terror attack in the French city last night has expressed her sorrow following the incident.

In this image made from video provided by CMM, people lay on the ground after a shooting at a Christmas market in Strasbourg Picture CMM VIA APIn this image made from video provided by CMM, people lay on the ground after a shooting at a Christmas market in Strasbourg Picture CMM VIA AP

Alex Mayer, who was in the city centre, said her thoughts are with the victims and their families after three people were killed near a Christmas market.

A large-scale manhunt is under way for a suspected extremist gunman and authorities in France have launched a terror investigation.

Speaking after the incident, Ms Mayer said: “Firstly I checked my staff were safe. I could hear a lot of police sirens and then a helicopter overhead. We all followed police advice to stay indoors and away from windows.

“My thoughts are with the victims of the attack and their families and all our thanks go out to the emergency services who work so hard to keep us safe.

Emergency services at the scene in Strasbourg amid reports of gunshots close to the city's Christmas market Picture: @RBARUCH/TWITTER/PA WIREEmergency services at the scene in Strasbourg amid reports of gunshots close to the city's Christmas market Picture: @RBARUCH/TWITTER/PA WIRE

“Strasbourg is beautiful at this time of the year. Terrorists seek to divide us and make us afraid but they will never defeat our way of life.”

French interior minister Christophe Castaner said 350 officers are hunting for the man who was already known to security services.

The 29-year-old alleged gunman, from the city in eastern France, exchanged fire with law enforcement as he “sowed terror”, Mr Castaner said.

In the wake of the attack, which has also left 11 injured, of which five are in a critical condition, the French government has increased its security alert system Vigipirate to its highest level.

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