Orthodox priest shot in French city of Lyon, assailant flees — police source – CNN

The priest is seriously wounded, the police source said. The incident happened around 4 p.m. (noon ET), the source added.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex told reporters that a “serious incident” had occurred but that “we don’t have precise elements yet.” Castex also said a “crisis center” would be activated.

France’s Interior Ministry tweeted that a serious security incident was underway near Lyon’s Jean-Macé quarter and that a security cordon was in place.

In a pre-recorded interview, Macron told Al Jazeera that violence carried by “some extremist movements and individuals in the name of Islam” is “a problem for all of us.”

The Greek Foreign Ministry issued a statement Saturday condemning the attack “against an Orthodox Priest of Greek origin.”

Following the attack earlier this week, France raised its national terror alert guidance to its highest “emergency” level and up to 4,000 military personnel were being be deployed to boost security at schools, churches and other places of worship.

A French soldier stands guard after the incident in Lyon on Saturday.A French soldier stands guard after the incident in Lyon on Saturday.

An “emergency” level means the “maximum level of vigilance” is necessary in case of an imminent threat or immediately after an attack, according to a French government website.

On October 16, a French high school teacher was beheaded in a suburb of Paris, and an 18-year-old Russian refugee of Chechen origin
has been identified as the suspect in the teacher’s death. The attack came after the teacher
displayed controversial cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed during a lesson on freedom of expression, anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-François Ricard said.
The recent attacks are reminders of the
tensions in France’s secular society, which frequently extols the values of free speech and freedom to practice religion. France is home to 5 million Muslims, many of whom live in poorer areas and are often marginalized in politics and media.

Castex was in the village of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in northern France, where he had traveled Saturday to check on the new security measures put in place following the Nice attack.

A Catholic priest, Father Jacques Hamel, was
killed in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in 2016 by two Islamist radicals.

CNN’s Fanny Bobille and Barbara Wojazer reported from Paris and Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London.