PARIS, Dec. 13 (CGTN) -- French police on Thursday shot dead a gunman who had been on the run since killing three people at Strasbourg's popular Christmas market.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Thursday that three police officers had stumbled across a man they believed to be Cherif Chekatt in the street and went to arrest him. He turned to fire on the police officers, who shot and killed him in the Neudorf area.

More than 700 French security forces had been hunting for the 29-year-old Strasbourg native, since the bloodshed on Tuesday night.

Police in several European countries had also joined the manhunt earlier.

Authorities published Chekatt's picture late Wednesday in a bid to track the career criminal who has at least 27 convictions in four European countries.

An online statement from the ISIL group's Amaq news agency on Thursday said the gunman was one of its soldiers who "carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting citizens of coalition countries" fighting the militant group in Syria and Iraq.

The group provided no evidence for the claim.

Castaner announced that the Strasbourg Christmas market would 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.

"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.