An attacker armed with a sawn-off shotgun wounded an Orthodox priest in a shooting in the central French city of Lyon before fleeing, a police source said on Saturday.
The priest, who has Greek nationality, was closing his church in the city’s seventh arrondissement when the attack happened and is now in a serious condition, the source told AFP, who asked not to be named.
Reuters cited an anonymous police source as saying that the priest was fired on twice at around 4 p.m. local time (1500 UTC/GMT), and was being treated on site for life-threatening injuries.
The source said the suspect is on the run.
France is still reeling from two deadly knife attacks — a beheading of a teacher near Paris two weeks ago and the killing of three people at a church in Nice on Thursday.
The beheading was carried out in revenge for the teacher showing his class cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.
The attacks have a debate that pits the country’s strict secularism and free speech laws against Islamic religious sensitivities.
President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to crack down on Islamic radicals and defended freedom of expression, in defiance of criticism by Muslim leaders and a call by Muslim countries to boycott French products.
Ministers had warned that other Islamist militant attacks could take place.
The government has deployed thousands of soldiers to protect sites such as places of worship and schools.
mm/rc (AFP, Reuters)
Lyon shooting: Orthodox priest seriously wounded The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Deutsche Welle.