PARIS — A Greek Orthodox priest was shot and wounded Saturday within the central French metropolis of Lyon, however the motive was unclear, native authorities mentioned.
The capturing comes at a time of heightened tensions in France, which remains to be on edge after a pair of current assaults by Islamist extremists, the killing of three churchgoers within the southern metropolis of Good on Thursday and the beheading close to Paris two weeks in the past of a schoolteacher who had proven cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad throughout a civics class.
In Lyon, round 4 p.m. on Saturday, native residents and a police patrol heard two gunshots close to a Greek Orthodox church within the seventh arrondissement of the town, the Lyon prosecutor’s workplace mentioned in an announcement.
Law enforcement officials noticed a person fleeing the scene and located a priest with gunshot wounds close to the church’s again door, the assertion mentioned. French media reported that the attacker used a sawed-off shotgun.
The police apprehended an individual matching witness descriptions of the attacker afterward Saturday, the prosecutor’s workplace mentioned. An announcement from the prosecutor’s workplace mentioned that the individual was not carrying a weapon and didn’t say that the individual was a suspect within the capturing.
Grégory Doucet, the mayor of Lyon, mentioned that the priest had been hospitalized with critical wounds.
“At this stage, no speculation is dominated out nor favored,” the prosecutor’s workplace mentioned, including that it had opened an investigation for tried homicide and that it was in contact with the nationwide antiterrorism prosecutor’s workplace.
However the truth that the nationwide antiterrorism prosecutor was in a roundabout way overseeing the case was an indication that authorities didn’t have proof of a terrorist motive.
The Lyon prosecutor’s workplace didn’t present extra particulars concerning the assailant or the identification of the priest.
The police cordoned off the realm, a residential neighborhood in Lyon, and native authorities asked residents to keep away from it.
French authorities had positioned the nation on its highest terrorism alert degree after the assault in Good and had elevated safety patrols round key websites, together with locations of worship.
Jean Castex, the prime minister, instructed reporters on Saturday that “critical occasions” had occurred in Lyon however that he didn’t have any info on the circumstances.
Mr. Castex occurred to be talking from St-Étienne-du-Rouvray — a small city in Normandy the place an 85-year-old priest was killed in 2016 in a terrorist assault that the Islamic State mentioned it had carried out.
Mr. Castex, who was visiting the city to evaluation heightened safety on the church, mentioned the French authorities was decided to make sure that all worshipers may observe their faith “in full security and with full freedom.”