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Global terrorism

Man charged with supplying gun to Strasbourg shooter

French special police forces secure an area during a police operation where the suspected gunman, Cherif Chekatt, who killed three people at a Christmas market in Strasbourg, was killed, in the Meinau district in Strasbourg, France, December 13, 2018

A man suspected of supplying the gun used in the Christmas market shooting that killed five people in Strasbourg has been handed preliminary terror charges, according to a French judicial official.

The official said the man appeared before a judge and was charged with criminal association with terrorists, as well as possessing and supplying arms in connection with a terrorist enterprise.

The man is suspected of furnishing the weapon that alleged gunman Cherif Chekatt used in the December 11 attack, the judicial official said. He was remanded into custody.

Chekatt, 29, died in a shootout with police in Strasbourg on Thursday.

Two other people were arrested and detained on Monday as part of the terror investigation the Paris prosecutor’s office is conducting into the attack.

They were suspected of “playing a role in supplying the firearm”, said the official.

Their arrests bring the number of suspects in custody since the attack to three. Chekatt’s parents and two of his brothers were questioned by police last week and released.

The death toll from the attack increased to five on Sunday night after a Polish man died of his wounds in a Strasbourg hospital.

Barto Orent-Niedzielski, 36, lived in the city, where he worked at the European Parliament as a journalist. The other casualties included a tourist from Thailand and an Italian journalist.

According to reports, Mr Orent-Niedzielski fought the gunman and stopped him from entering a crowded club, possibly preventing more deaths.

Polish President Andrzej Duda wrote on Twitter: “I knew him by sight. I am shocked. I had not realized that he was the one mortally wounded protecting other people. Honor to his memory. RIP.”

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