Large-scale Manhunt in France Following Attack and Killing at Retirement Home for Catholic Monks near Montpellier

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A large-scale manhunt has been underway in France since the evening of Thursday, November 24, 2016, after a masked intruder carrying a knife, and reportedly a type of firearm, entered a retirement home for Catholic monks in Montferrier-sur-Lez, a village in the vicinity of Montpellier, on France’s Mediterranean coast. At least one victim – a woman, believed to be a nun – was knifed by the attacker. The victim was able to discreetly alert the police to the attacker’s presence before she was subdued, but by the time authorities arrived, they found her deceased from brutally-inflicted wounds. Some of the retirement home’s approximately sixty residents, members of the Society of African Missions, had been taken hostage in the midst of the attack, but were freed when the police raided the facility. The suspect escaped from the complex and remains on the run, and various French law enforcement agencies are actively pursuing leads as they search for him. The attacker’s motives are currently unclear, although France has been on heightened alert for terrorism for many months. Msgr. Olivier Ribadeau Dumas, secretary-general and spokesman for the French Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Tweeted (@ORDUMAS): “Our prayer is offered up tonight for [the victim] who lost her life in this attack on a retirement home for religious in [the region of] Hérault.” Aleteia France has also reported on the story here.

 

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