Two days after the attack cost the lives of three people in Nice , tension is rising in France: an Orthodox archpriest, who was closing the door of his church in Lyon, was attacked by a stranger. The attacker opened fire twice and then fled. The victim, Nikolaos Kakavelakis , 52 years old and the father of a family, had been in France for ten years. Police have arrested a suspect and are trying to verify his possible involvement. The investigation was entrusted to the Lyon prosecutor’s office, which focuses on “attempted murder”; which suggests that the investigators do not consider the attack as terrorist, but stressed that “no hypothesis is excluded”. In Paris, the Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin opened a crisis unit at Place Beauvau.
According to the prosecutor, Nicolas Jacquet , “a person who can match the evidence provided by the first witnesses” was arrested. The individual was not armed at the time of the arrest. Witnesses said the perpetrator of the shots, which left the priest between life and death, was 1.90 centimeters tall and wore a long dark raincoat. A local newspaper, Le Progres, added that he was stopped in a kebab bar in district number 3, while the assault occurred in district number 7. The priest was shot twice in the abdomen, the second at point blank range. 17:00. The detonations alerted the neighbors and a patrol of the municipal police, who rushed to the scene and found the wounded cleric on the ground. After first aid, the priest was transferred to a nearby hospital, where his prognosis remains confidential .
With the passing of the hours, the hypothesis of a terrorist action has however diminished, although the reasons for the action have not yet been clarified. Investigators seem to be investigating the possibility of a conflict sparked by tensions within the small religious community of Lyon. For the moment the hypothesis is not confirmed, but is being taken seriously in the investigations. The victim was at the center of a court case : accused of authoritarianism and embezzlement by a former Orthodox monk, the priest ended up filing a libel complaint.
And Macron extends his hand to Islam
The attack in Lyon, however, follows the attack on the Catholic basilica of Nice by just two days: an event against the backdrop of the extremely violent clash between the president Emmanuel Macron and the Islamic world. Today the head of the Elysée tried to reach out to Islam, with an interview with al-Jazira: he tried to quell the anger of the Muslim world against France by claiming to understand “the feelings of Muslims regarding the offensive cartoons on Prophet “but he wanted to emphasize that his government has nothing to do with those cartoons and that his statements in this regard have been” manipulated “. The boycott campaign of French products is inadmissible and France, he then added tweeting in Arabic, wants “peace and coexistence”.