Europe

Priest in France shot and injured, two days after knife attack in church

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A Greek priest in Lyon, France, was shot and injured Saturday at a church just two days after a deadly knife attack at a church in Nice.

Authorities and witnesses said the priest was fired on twice Saturday afternoon around 4 p.m. local time, and the assailant fled the scene, Reuters reported.

The priest was treated at the scene for severe life-threatening injuries, police said.

He reportedly told emergency services as they arrived that he did not recognize the assailant.

The shooting is just the latest of several violent incidents that have occurred in France this month. 

Three people were killed by a man holding a Quaran and a knife at a church in Nice this week, with French officials believing the attack is tied to Islamic extremism. The suspect in Nice reportedly shouted, “Allahu Akbar!” before he beheaded a woman and killed two others.

In addition, a French school teacher was decapitated in a Paris suburb earlier this month. The 18-year-old attacker was reportedly of Chechen origin, and was shot by police shortly after the beheading took place. 

The 18-year-old was allegedly provoked after the educator showed caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed during a class lesson about the freedom of speech.

French President Emmanuel Macron previously called the late educator a “quiet hero.” 

Macron’s response to the killing backlash against him and the country of France in a multi-country protest in places such as Pakistan, Lebanon and Palestinian territories this week.

The French president spoke with Al Jazeera in an interview released Saturday telling the publication that his words were misconstrued. He added that he did not support the publication of offensive religious caricatures. 

“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,” said Macron.

Tags Charli-Hebdo Emmanuel Macron France French President Emmanuel Macron Islamic terrorism in France Lyon

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