French priest wounded in shooting at church in Lyon

A Christian Orthodox priest is wounded in a shooting in the French city of Lyon.

Police say the attacker fled the scene and remains at large.

The priest, who has Greek nationality, was closing his church when he was shot in the stomach. He is being treated for life-threatening injuries.

A police source told the Associated Press that the attacker acted along and fired from a hunting rifle.

The French interior ministry tweets that “an incident is underway” in the southeastern city.

“Security and emergency personnel are at the scene,” the ministry says, warning people to “avoid the area” where the attack took place.

Security and emergency personnel at the scene of a shooting attack against an Orthodox priest in Lyon, France, October 31, 2020. (Philippe Desmazes/AFP)

France has been rocked in recent weeks by Islamist attacks and protests against President Emmanuel Macron.

On October 16, a French schoolteacher was beheaded outside Paris by a Muslim man who was enraged that the teacher showed his class cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a class on free speech.

On Thursday, a 21-year-old Tunisian killed two women and a man with a knife at a church in the southern French city of Nice. Macron called the slaughter an “Islamist terrorist attack.”

Protests by Muslims erupted worldwide this week after Macron defended the right to caricature the Prophet Muhammad.

France entered a second nationwide coronavirus lockdown on Friday, but houses of worship are exempt.

France has been on high alert since the January 2015 massacre at the satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo marked the beginning of a wave of jihadist attacks that have killed more than 250 people.

Tensions have heightened since last month, when the trial opened for 14 suspected accomplices in that attack.

Most Popular