France, Spain boost security after Strasbourg shooting

            By Yusuf Ozcan and Senhan Bolelli

PARIS/MADRID (AA) – France and Spain are beefing up security in the aftermath of a shooting at a Christmas market in Strasbourg.

Following a crisis meeting, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced Wednesday at a press conference that the country will deploy more security personnel during the Christmas season.

Around 720 police, soldiers and SWAT team officers in Strasbourg will be reinforced with 500 additional soldiers and another 1,300 in the coming days to guard public places, Philippe said.

On Tuesday night, a gunman opened fire at a Christmas market in Place Kleber square before fleeing the scene. Security forces raided his home but failed to find him.

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said two people were killed and one was left in a vegetative state while at least a dozen were wounded, with six in critical condition.

French police issued a wanted poster identifying the suspect as 29-year-old Strasbourg-born Cherif Chekatt, who was known to the security services in France, Germany and Switzerland for petty crimes.

In Spain, the Interior Ministry decided to further strengthen security measures across the country ahead of Christmas, according to a report by Spanish news agency EFE. The ministry will deploy more police and security forces in crowded areas where Christmas celebrations will take place.

France: Shooting near Christmas market leaves 4 dead

            By Yusuf Ozcan</p>  <p>PARIS (AA) - At least four people were killed and 11 others injured Tuesday when a gunman opened fire in the French city of Strasbourg, according to local authorities.</p>  <p>The incident took place close to the historic Christmas market in Place Kleber square.</p>  <p>The prefect of France’s Bas-Rhin region announced that the attacker had been identified but had escaped on foot after being cornered by police, during which there had been an exchange of gunfire. A search for the assailant is now underway.</p>  <p>The incident was being evaluated as a terror attack, the prefect added.</p>  <p>The gunman was injured during the clash with security forces before escaping, according to French media reports.</p>  <p>&quot;Shooting in the center of Strasbourg. Thank you all for staying home and waiting for a clarification of the situation,&quot; Strasbourg's deputy mayor, Alain Fontanel, wrote on Twitter.

Greeks protest to mark anniversary of teen’s killing

            By Furkan Naci Top</p>  <p>ATHENS (AA) – More than a thousand people took to the streets of the Greek capital Thursday to mark the 10th anniversary of the killing of a teenage boy by police.</p>  <p>Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a 15-year-old student, was murdered by a police officer in December 2008. He had been out with his friends in the Exarchia district of Athens when he was shot dead by the officer following an altercation. </p>  <p>His death sparked violent riots across the country that lasted nearly a month.</p>  <p>The officer, Epaminondas Korkoneas, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.</p>  <p>Thirty people were arrested in Athens during Thursday’s protests, according to police sources. </p>  <p>More than 2,000 police officers were deployed to the scene. A group of protesters hurled stones at police and were dispersed by teargas and water cannons.</p>  <p>Many buildings and cars were also damaged.</p>  <p> 

UPDATE 4 – Pakistan: 7 killed in Chinese Consulate attack

ADDS DEATHS OF CIVILIANS

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – At least seven people were killed in an armed attack on the Chinese Consulate in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi on Friday morning, a police official said.

Ameer Shaikh, Karachi police chief, told reporters that two policemen and three attackers were killed and a suicide jacket was recovered in a security operation.

Two civilians — a father and son — were also killed in the attack, he said, adding that they were at the consulate for their visa application.

“The security operation has been completed, and the Chinese consul general and all staff of the mission are safe and sound,” Shaikh said.

Earlier, local broadcaster Geo News quoting eyewitnesses reported that three to four armed assailants stormed the heavily-guarded consulate, sparking response from police and security guards.

Pakistan army also confirmed that three militants were killed and said the situation is under control.

“Terrorists attempted to enter Chinese consulate. Rangers and police have got control. Three terrorists killed. All Chinese safe. Situation under control,” the army said in a brief statement.

Balochistan Liberation Army, a separatist militant group, claimed responsibility of the attack, local media reported.

Condemning the attack, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered a complete inquiry into the incident.

In a statement, Khan said the incident was part of a conspiracy against economic and strategic cooperation between Pakistan and China.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also condemned the attack and appreciated the timely action of security forces to foil it.

"The elements who are always busy in conspiring to damage Pakistan-China friendship are behind such terrorist attacks but we will never let them to succeed in their evils designs," Qureshi told reporters outside the parliament in Islamabad.

He said his country is well aware of “conspiracies” against the multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

CPEC, a $64-billion megaproject signed in 2014, aims to connect China's strategically important northwestern Xinjiang province to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.

The project has faced resistance by militants in southwestern Balochistan province who claim the government has neglected their interests.

* Islamuddin Sajid in Islamabad contributed to this news story.

UPDATE 3 – Pakistan: 2 cops killed in Chinese Consulate attack

UPDATES WITH STATEMENTS FROM PRIME MINISTER, FOREIGN MINISTER

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – At least two policemen were killed in an armed attacked on the Chinese Consulate in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi on Friday morning, a police official said.

Ameer Shaikh, Karachi police chief, told reporters that all three attackers were also killed and a suicide jacket was recovered in a security operation.

“The security operation has been completed, and the Chinese consul general and all staff of the mission are safe and sound,” Shaikh said.

Earlier, local broadcaster Geo news quoting eyewitnesses reported that three to four armed assailants stormed the heavily-guarded consulate, which was responded by police and security guards.

Meanwhile, Pakistan army also confirmed that three militants were killed and said the situation is under control.

“Terrorists attempted to enter Chinese consulate. Rangers and police have got control. Three terrorists killed. All Chinese safe. Situation under control,” the army said in a brief statement.

Balochistan Liberation Army, a separatist militant group, claimed responsibility of the attack, local media reported.

Condemning the attack, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered a complete inquiry into the incident.

In a statement, Khan said the incident was part of a conspiracy against economic and strategic cooperation between Pakistan and China.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also condemned the attack and appreciated the timely action of security forces to foil it.

"The elements who are always busy in conspiring to damage Pakistan-China friendship are behind such terrorist attacks but we will never let them to succeed in their evils designs," Qureshi told reporters outside the parliament in Islamabad.

He said his country is well aware of “conspiracies” against the multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

CPEC, a $64 billion megaproject signed in 2014, aims to connect China's strategically important northwestern Xinjiang province to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.

* Islamuddin Sajid in Islamabad contributed to this news story.

UPDATE 2 – Pakistan: 2 cops killed in Chinese Consulate attack

UPDATES WITH MORE MILITANTS KILLED, COMPLETION OF SECURITY OPERATION, STATEMENT BY PAKISTAN ARMY; ADDS MORE DETAILS

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – At least two policemen were killed in an armed attacked on the Chinese Consulate in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi on Friday morning, a police official said.

Ameer Shaikh, Karachi police chief, told reporters that all three attackers were also killed and a suicide jacket was recovered in a security operation.

“The security operation has been completed, and the Chinese consul general and all staff of the mission are safe and sound,” Shaikh said.

Earlier, local broadcaster Geo news quoting eyewitnesses reported that three to four armed assailants stormed the heavily-guarded consulate, which was responded by police and security guards.

Meanwhile, Pakistan army also confirmed that three militants were killed and said the situation is under control.

“Terrorists attempted to enter Chinese consulate. Rangers and police have got control. Three terrorists killed. All Chinese safe. Situation under control,” the army said in a brief statement.

Balochistan Liberation Army, a separatist militant group, claimed responsibility of the attack, local media reported.

China, which neighbors Pakistan, invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects, as part of its vast belt and road initiative, named China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

CPEC, a $64 billion megaproject signed in 2014, aims to connect China's strategically important northwestern Xinjiang province to Gwadar Port in Pakistan’s Balochistan province through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.

UPDATE – Pakistan: 2 killed in attack on Chinese Consulate

UPDATES WITH ONE ATTACKER KILLED

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – At least two people were killed in an armed attacked on the Chinese Consulate in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi on Friday morning, a police official said.

Ameer Shaikh, Karachi police chief, told Anadolu Agency gunshots and a blast were heard outside the consulate located in a high-end locality.

"We are assessing the situation but it seems if it is an attack on the Chinese Consulate," Shaikh said, adding: "We will be able to make a statement in a while."

One attacker has also been killed and a suicide jacket was recovered from possession of the slain militant, Javed Alam Odho, a deputy inspector general of police, told media.

Local broadcaster Geo news quoting eyewitnesses reported that three to four armed assailants stormed the heavily-guarded consulate, which was responded by police and security guards.

Gunshots are still being heard in the locality with short intervals.

This is a developing story.

Pakistan: Gunmen kill 2 near Chinese Consulate

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Gunmen killed at least two people near the Chinese Consulate in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi on Friday morning, a police official said.

Ameer Shaikh, Karachi police chief, told Anadolu Agency that a blast has also been heard outside the Consulate located in a high- end locality apart from firing.

"We are assessing the situation but it seems if it is an attack on the Chinese Consulate," Shaikh said, adding: "We will be able to make a statement in a while."

Local broadcaster Geo news quoting eyewitnesses reported that three to four armed assailants stormed the heavily-guarded consulate , which was responded by police and security guards.

Gunshots are still being heard in the locality with short intervals.

It's a developing story.

US: 4 killed in Chicago hospital shooting

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON (AA) – Three people, including a police officer, were killed Monday in a shooting at a hospital in Chicago, said police.

The gunman – identified as 32-year-old Juan Lopez, the former fiancée of one of the victims — was among the dead in the attack at Mercy Hospital.

Earlier, Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer for the Chicago Police Department, said on Twitter that police officer Samuel Jimenez had lost his life in the line of duty.

"The City of Chicago lost a doctor, pharmaceutical assistant and a police officer, all going about their day, all doing what they love," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a press briefing.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said he was grateful to the Chicago Police Department for responding to the attack with "bravery".

"My heart is with Mercy Hospital in Chicago tonight. I am praying for the victims, their families, and those who were injured during the shooting this afternoon," he said on Twitter.

The shooting, on the city’s South Side, happened around 3:20 p.m. (2120GMT), local media reported.

UPDATE – US: At least two dead in Kentucky shooting

ADDS KROGER STATEMENT, UPDATES DECK

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – At least two people were killed Wednesday in a shooting at a grocery store in the state of Kentucky, according to local media reports.

A local NBC television affiliate reported that a body was seen covered in a white sheet in the parking lot of a Kroger supermarket.

The grocery store later issued a statement confirming that a suspect had been taken into custody and the scene had been cleared.

The identities of the deceased remain uncertain.

The shooting took place around 2:30 p.m. (1830 GMT), Kroger said.

Multiple reports claimed two people were injured after two suspects exchanged gunfire.