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a priest wounded with a knife in an attack of no “a priori terrorist character”; the attacker was arrested

On Sunday morning, April 24, a priest was attacked at the Saint-Pierre-d’Arène Church in Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), where he served Mass, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced on Twitter. The attacker was arrested, he added:

“The priest is wounded.” No vital prognosis. Solidarity with the parishioners and thanks to the police, who quickly arrested the author. The prefect is there. »

According to MP Eric Ciotti (Les Républicains), who condemned the “terrible attack” in a tweet, a nun who was injured in the attack by a forearm was hit during the attack:

Extraordinary courage of Sister Marie-Claude, who intervened when the attacker continued to stab…

– ECiotti (@Eric Ciotti)

Shortly before the service at 10:00, a man entered the church and “stabbed” the priest, “said Agence France-Presse (AFP) Maud Marty, deputy prosecutor in Nice, at the scene of the attack. The priest was transferred to CHU Pasteur in the city. The attacker is in custody.

The victim, Father Krzysztof Rudzinski, originally from Poland, has settled in this parish for more than a decade, usually supporting the pastor of the church, the second vicar Yves-Marie Lequin told the press.

“Without a criminal record”

An investigation into “attempted voluntary murder” and “voluntary violence with weapons” was launched and entrusted to the judicial police in Nice. The National Counter-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office (PNAT) has been informed and the situation is “being assessed at their level”, with a return expected “in the next few hours,” the prosecutor said. “The information provided at this stage does not justify our recommendation,” PNAT said.

“The motives for the crime are current and difficult to identify at the moment,” he insisted, saying the assailant was not known at the judicial level and was being monitored psychiatrically. Earlier, the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, told reporters that “it would be about an imbalance (…) who does not have a criminal record.”

With @ prefet06 we confirm that according to the first elements the person was not registered and unknown…

– cestrosi (@Christian Estrosi)

The attack “is not a priori terrorist,” the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported from a police source. The attack author named Kevin, born in 1991 in Fréjus, a French national, resides in Nice. The services are unknown, it was said.

The man is “obviously bipolar” and “spontaneously declared to the police that he was Jewish and that he wanted to kill Macron on this election day and that he eventually returned to church,” the same police source added.

Le Monde with AFP and Reuters