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World French police hunt assailant who shot and wounded Orthodox priest in church

21:20  31 october  2020
21:20  31 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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By Marc Angrand and Sarah White

a police car parked on a city street: Police officers guard a scene where an Orthodox priest was shot and injured as the assailant fled, as police source claims, in Lyon © Reuters/JULIEN DAMBOISE/LYONMAG Police officers guard a scene where an Orthodox priest was shot and injured as the assailant fled, as police source claims, in Lyon

PARIS (Reuters) - A Greek Orthodox priest was shot and injured on Saturday at a church in the centre of the French city of Lyon by an assailant who then fled, a police source and witnesses said.

The priest was fired on twice at around 4 p.m. (1500 GMT) as he was closing the church, and he was being treated for life-threatening injuries, the source said.

Witnesses said the church was Greek Orthodox. Another police source said the priest was of Greek nationality, and had been able to tell emergency services as they arrived that he had not recognised his assailant.

3 dead in 'terrorist' knife attack in French church, second beheading in two weeks

  3 dead in 'terrorist' knife attack in French church, second beheading in two weeks French anti-terrorism prosecutors are investigating a knife attack at a church in Nice that killed two people and wounded several others.It is the third attack in the nation in two months, taking place weeks after a French teacher was decapitated after showing caricatures of Islam’s prophet Muhammad in class.

A Greek government official identified the priest as Nikolaos Kakavelakis.

There was no indication from French officials that the attack was terrorism-related. The French anti-terrorism prosecutor's office had not been brought in, as is normal when law enforcement officials suspect a terrorism link, France's BFMTV broadcaster said.

a group of people standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Mayor of Lyon Gregory Doucet arrives at the scene where an Orthodox priest was shot and injured as the assailant fled, as police source claims, in Lyon © Reuters/JULIEN DAMBOISE/LYONMAG Mayor of Lyon Gregory Doucet arrives at the scene where an Orthodox priest was shot and injured as the assailant fled, as police source claims, in Lyon

The incident came two days after a man shouting "Allahu Akbar!" (God is Greatest) beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a church in Nice.

Two weeks ago, a schoolteacher in a Paris suburb was beheaded by an 18-year-old attacker who was apparently incensed by the teacher showing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad during a class.

Tunisian family of alleged Nice knifeman in disbelief over attack

  Tunisian family of alleged Nice knifeman in disbelief over attack The family of a man detained for killing three church-goers in France weeks after leaving his home in Tunisia has told AFP they are struggling to believe he carried out the attack. Born to a family of modest means in the central Tunisian city of Sfax, Issaoui had turned to religion and isolated himself in the past two years, his relatives told AFP. "He prayed (and) went from home to work and back, not mixing with others or leaving the house,""It's not normal," said Brahim Issaoui's brother Yassine, incredulous that his sibling was responsible for the attack, which came amid widespread anger among Muslims over comments by French President Emmanuel Macron.

While the motive for Saturday's attack was not known, government ministers had warned that there could be other Islamist militant attacks. President Emmanuel Macron has deployed thousands of soldiers to protect sites such as places of worship and schools.

a truck on a city street: An ambulance is seen at the scene where an Orthodox priest was shot and injured as the assailant fled, as police source claims, in Lyon © Reuters/JULIEN DAMBOISE/LYONMAG An ambulance is seen at the scene where an Orthodox priest was shot and injured as the assailant fled, as police source claims, in Lyon

Prime Minister Jean Castex, who was visiting Rouen, said he was heading back to Paris to assess the situation.

The Nice attack took place on the day Muslims celebrate the Prophet Mohammad's birthday. Many Muslims around the world have been angered about France's defence of the right to publish cartoons depicting the Prophet.

A third person has been taken into police custody in connection with that attack, a police source said on Saturday. The suspected assailant was shot by police and remained in critical condition in hospital.

Attacks like the beheading in Nice are almost impossible to prevent, security sources say

  Attacks like the beheading in Nice are almost impossible to prevent, security sources say Security officials in France and Belgium say that their ability to stop attacks like the one that killed three people in Nice this week is limited.France deployed thousands of additional soldiers to its streets and launched a string of raids in the aftermath of Thursday's attack, in which three people died, one of whom was beheaded.

a group of people standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Mayor of Lyon Gregory Doucet arrives at the scene where an Orthodox priest was shot and injured as the assailant fled, as police source claims, in Lyon © Reuters/JULIEN DAMBOISE/LYONMAG Mayor of Lyon Gregory Doucet arrives at the scene where an Orthodox priest was shot and injured as the assailant fled, as police source claims, in Lyon

Macron took to Arabic-language airwaves on Saturday, saying he understood the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad may shock some people but that there was no justification for acts of violence.

In an interview with Al Jazeera released on Saturday, Macron said his position had been misconstrued: that he never supported publication of cartoons seen as insulting by Muslims, but had defended the right of free expression.

"I understand and I respect the fact that people might be shocked by these caricatures, but I will never accept any justification for acts of violence over these caricatures," Macron said.

The teacher killed on Oct. 16, Samuel Paty, had showed cartoons in class to prompt discussion of free speech.

(Reporting by Catherine Lagrange and Sarah White; Additional reporting by Lefteris Papadimas in Athens; Writing by Kevin Liffey and Christian Lowe; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Alabama voters approve an amendment to remove racist language from state constitution .
The measure was the third attempt in 16 years to rid the 1901 Constitution of language banning interracial marriage and creating segregated schools.As of 8:48 a.m. Wednesday, Amendment 4 had 1,169,206 yes votes (67%) in incomplete, unofficial returns. About 585,384 Alabamians (33%) voted against the measure, a symbolic measure that proponents said would allow the state to show the world that it was trying to move beyond the sins of its past.

usr: 3
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