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Greek Orthodox priest injured in French shooting, assailant fled

  • October 31, 2020

A Greek Orthodox priest has been injured in a shooting in the French city of Lyon and the assailant has fled, a police source said.

The priest was fired on twice at about 4pm local time (15:00 GMT) as he was closing a church, and was being treated on-site for life-threatening injuries, the source told Reuters on Saturday.

Witnesses said the church was Greek Orthodox. Police immediately cordoned off the area.

The reason for the attack was unclear. It happened two days after a knife attack at a Catholic church in the French city of Nice that killed three people and amid tensions over a French newspaper’s publication of caricatures mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

French anti-terrorist authorities were not investigating Saturday’s shooting, although the interior minister activated a special emergency team to follow the case while the gunman was still at large.

Prime Minister Jean Castex reiterated government promises to deploy military forces at religious sites and schools.

He said French people can “count on the nation to allow them to practice their religion in full safety and freedom”.

More soon.

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