An Orthodox priest in France shot at a church; wanted attacker


A Greek Orthodox priest was shot dead in a church in Lyon, France on Saturday and authorities are looking for the attacker.

The reason for the shooting was not clear.

The 52-year-old priest was closing his church around 4 p.m. when he was approached by a man with a shotgun. The suspect fired more than one shot, hitting the priest in the abdomen. He was in serious condition.

The mayor of Lyon, Grégory Doucet, said several hours after the shooting that the priest was in surgery and that the investigation into the attack was still in its infancy.

The incident comes two days after a knife attack on a Catholic church in the French city of Nice that killed three people, and amid continuing tensions over a French magazine’s publication of cartoons mocking the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Authorities are investigating the knife attack as suspected terrorism.

In that attack on Thursday, authorities said a 21-year-old Tunisian national entered the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice and started stabbing people. The three victims were identified as two women, aged 60 and 44, and a 55-year-old man who performed part of the church service.

Witnesses inside the church said they heard the suspect shout “Allahu Akbar” or “God is great” in Arabic, said chief counterterrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard at the meeting. ‘a press conference.

Authorities found items believed to belong to the man, including a Koran, three knives and two cell phones.

Ricard said the suspect entered the country on October 9 and previously traveled to Lampedusa, an Italian island that serves as a European entry point for migrants from Africa. He was taken into custody after being stabbed.

Earlier this month, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee beheaded a French schoolteacher who had shown students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published by Charlie Hebdo magazine.

This is a developing story; come back for updates.


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