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French priest shot and seriously injured in Lyon gun attack

A Greek Orthodox priest is in a life-threatening condition after being shot in a gun attack in the French city of Lyon.

French Police said the priest was fired at twice in the abdomen while he was closing the church at about 4pm and they are hunting for the attacker.

Officers locked down the area and told the public to stay away.

Security and emergency personnel are on October 31, 2020 in Lyon at the scene where an attacker armed with a sawn-off shotgun wounded an Orthodox priest in a shooting before fleeing, said a police source. - The priest, who has Greek nationality, was closing his church when the attack happened and is now in a serious condition, said the source, who asked not to be named. The shooting comes three days after three people were killed in a knife rampage. Pic: Getty
Image: Police and ambulance workers are at the scene where the attacker fled

The attacker was alone and fired from a hunting rifle, a police source said.

Local media described seeing an injured man being stretchered from the church.

It’s understood the gunman was wearing a long black raincoat and black hat.

Anti-terrorist authorities were not investigating the shooting, but a special emergency team was on the case while the gunman was still at large.

On Twitter, the British Embassy in France posted an alert about the “ongoing security incident” at the Jean-Mace area of the 7th arrondissement.

It comes two days after a woman was beheaded and two others killed by a man shouting “Allahu Akbar” in a church in Nice. That happened on the day Muslims celebrate the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday.

In a separate attack, Paris schoolteacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by an 18-year-old Chechen two weeks ago after showing his students a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad.

France’s defence of the right to publish cartoons depicting the Prophet have angered many Muslims around the world and deepened tensions in the nation.

Ministers have warned of a risk of other Islamist militant attacks.

In response to the recent violence, President Emmanuel Macron sent thousands of soldiers to protect sites such as schools and places of worship.

After today’s shooting, French Prime Minister Jean Castex reiterated a commitment to guard those places.

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

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