Strasbourg: French police on Thursday shot dead a gunman who had been on the run since killing three people at Strasbourg’s popular Christmas market. The miscreant was one of the “soldiers” of the Islamic State jihadist group, its propaganda agency said Thursday.

The perpetrator of “the attack in the city of Strasbourg… Is one of the soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls to target nationals of the coalition” against IS, the Amaq agency said in a message posted on Twitter.

An international US-led coalition has been carrying out strikes against the jihadists since 2014 as well as providing training and other support to forces battling IS in Iraq and Syria.

In addition to fighting on the ground in those countries, IS has inspired attacks in multiple western countries. French police on Thursday killed gunman Cherif Chekatt, who had been on the run since carrying out the shooting in eastern France on Tuesday night.

More than 700 French security forces had been hunting for the 29-year-old, who was believed to have been injured after exchanging fire with soldiers during the attack but managed to escape.

The Strasbourg Christmas market is due to reopen on Friday.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “the solidarity of the whole country” towards the victims as he arrived for a European summit in Brussels on Thursday. “It is not only France that has been hit…but a great European city as well,” he added, referring to the seat of the European parliament in the eastern French city that lies on the border with Germany.

(With PTI inputs)