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Orthodox priest shot at church in France; attacker at large

Orthodox priest shot at church in France; attacker at large
Posted at 11:03 AM, Oct 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-31 14:28:37-04

LYON, France (AP) — French police say a Greek Orthodox priest has been shot while closing his church in the city of Lyon, and authorities are hunting for the assailant.

A police official says the priest was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries after being hit in the abdomen on Saturday.

The official says the priest is a Greek citizen and the attacker was alone and fired from a hunting rifle.

On Twitter, the French Interior Ministry wrote "an event is underway near the Jean-Macé sector, in the 7th arrondissement in Lyon. Security and rescue forces are there. A security perimeter has been installed."

You should avoid the area, the minister added.

The reason for the shooting was unclear.

It happened two days after an Islamic extremist 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 Muslim Prophet Muhammad.