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Monday, 18 November 2019

Trump notes Strasbourg shooting to press for US border wall

AFP , Wednesday 12 Dec 2018
French city of Strasbourg
Police officers stand guard near the scene of a shooting in the French city of Strasbourg. (AFP)
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US President Donald Trump pointed Wednesday to the mass shooting at a Christmas market in France to bolster his demands for funding to build a US border wall with Mexico.

Trump's tweet linking the issues came despite the fact that the suspect in Tuesday's attack in Strasbourg, France, is a native of the city with a criminal past and extremist views.

A French prosecutor said the gunman shouted "Allahu Akbar" -- Arabic for "God is greatest" -- before opening fire in a popular Christmas market in the city's medieval center, killing two people, leaving a third brain-dead and wounding 12 others.

Trump mentioned the attack only glancingly, using his first public comment on the incident to buttress his arguments for funding a US-Mexico border wall.

"Another very bad terror attack in France. We are going to strengthen our borders even more. Chuck and Nancy must give us the votes to get additional Border Security!," he said.

Trump clashed angrily with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on funding for the wall Tuesday in an Oval Office meeting carried live on television.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also cited the Strasbourg attack to support a border wall, which was a signature promise of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"Every time we add to people here who have the risk of becoming radicalized, we increase the risk to American citizens," Pompeo told Fox News.

"We should build it out," he said of the wall. "We should do all the things we need to do to control the flow of people into our country in a way that is lawful only."

But Pompeo did not answer on whether Mexico will pay for the wall -- a favorite line of Trump at his rallies -- and said he was working with Mexico to prevent emigration at its source in conflict-ridden El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

"Frankly, the most important thing we can do is turn off the flow from those three countries," he said.

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