Orthodox priest shot at church in France, attacker at large

French police say a Greek Orthodox priest was shot Saturday outside his church in the city of Lyon, and police are hunting for the assailant.

The priest is in life-threatening condition in a local hospital after being hit in the abdomen, a police official told The Associated Press.

The attacker was alone and fired from a hunting rifle, said the official, who was not authorized to be publicly named.

Police locked down the neighbourhood around the church and warned the public on Twitter to stay away.

The reason for the attack is unclear. It comes two days after an Islamic extremist knife attack at a Catholic church in the French city of Nice that killed three people, amid tensions over the publication of caricatures mocking the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

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