Christmas in Strasbourg

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Strasbourg by day

Strasbourg is quieter times

Christmas may be a little muted in the French city of Strasbourg after what seems to be another terrorist attack on a Christmas market.

A lone gunman, is still on the loose, killed three people and wounded many more, six of whom are reported to be, at the time of writing, to be in a critical condition.

That Christmas markets should be targeted seems unforgiveable given that Christmas is supposed to be a time of coming together of reconciliation and of goodwill to all men. Yet this isn’t the only Christmas market that has been attacked over the years. Berlin was attacked as was the Cameroon town of Mora with threats against other markets. Given that there are 2,500 in Germany alone (attracting over 80 million people) they have become big tourist attractions and, thus, might be marked them out for terrorist attempts.

During the summer when tourism was its height in Europe, luckily there were few instances of terrorism. Why then have terrorists targeted Christmas markets when they actually – in the main – attract fewer people than? Is it because of the sheer number of markets that police resources are stretched to provide adequate cover?
Is it because of the very nature of markets? Referring to a Christian tradition could it be that this is anathema to terrorists and they will continue to target them in the future? I hope that this is not the case otherwise some smaller markets may not be able to deal with the security that might be required so that we can continue to thumb our noses at terrorists.

Whatever the reason for targeting these markets, today sympathies must go to Strasbourg, the people and their families who were killed and injured and the city itself.

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