Priest shot outside church in France, suspect under arrest

The shooting of a Greek Orthodox priest in the city of Lyon, which resulted in injuries over the weekend, has been confirmed by the French Police.

The name of the priest is yet to be disclosed, but he was attacked at a church in the French city of Lyon by an assailant who then fled.

According to Lyon’s public prosecutor, a suspect had been arrested and the motive for the attack was not clear.

“A person who could correspond to the description given by the initial witnesses has been placed in police custody,” prosecutor Nicolas Jacquet said, adding that the suspect had not been carrying a weapon when he was arrested.

According to Reuters, the priest was fired at twice around 4 pm when he was closing the church.

While the report by the Associated Press suggests that the attacker used a hunting rifle, adding that the priest is being treated at a local hospital after being hit in the abdomen.

Soon after the priest was shot, French Police launched a manhunt to identify and capture the attacker.

“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,” the French interior ministry said in a tweet.

This attack on the priest is the latest in a series of crimes that have been reported from France in recent weeks. Just earlier this week, a woman was beheaded and two others killed at a church in the French city of Nice.

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Early in the October, the beheading of a schoolteacher in a Paris suburb triggered sharp reactions from French President Emmanuel Macron and a host of other world leaders. Police later arrested the attacker, an 18-year-old Chechen who killed teacher Samuel Paty allegedly for showing a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in class.

The French President, Emmanuel Macron who has been facing criticism following his remarks about what many considered as against Islam, said in a tweet in Arabic on Saturday, “Contrary to much of what I have heard and seen on social media in recent days, our country has no problem with any religion. All of these religions are freely practiced on his land. There is no stigmatization: France is committed to peace and to live together.”

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