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France: Bayonne 'in shock' in aftermath of mosque shooting02:56

France: Bayonne 'in shock' in aftermath of mosque shooting

France, Bayonne
October 29, 2019 at 15:14 GMT +00:00 · Published

The mayor of Bayonne Jean-Rene Etchegaray said on Tuesday that his town was "in shock," following the shooting that took place at a local mosque the previous day.

"We have never experienced with the mosque, or in front of the mosque, any manifestation of opposition towards the practice of Muslim faith. Besides, this town is a land of welcome and tolerance," said Etchegaray.

The regional president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith expressed his worry over the attack.

"They fire at innocents, they fire at people who didn't do anything to them. And it's becoming serious because it happened today in Bayonne, it can happen tomorrow in Poitiers, it can happen tomorrow in Bordeaux. So it's something that today haunts us and doesn't let us have peace of mind to practice religion with dignity and spirituality. And so it's something that worries us because we are not safe from anything," he shared.

A local resident also conveyed his dismay at the attack, saying that "'it's not possible to live moments like this. And to be an actor [of these events] is even worse, because it affects life, humans are hurt, humans die. Whether you are Muslim or Catholic, for me it's the same."

Footage shows a police presence in front of the cordoned off mosque.

On Monday, an 84-year-old man fired several shots injuring a 74-year-old man and a 78-year-old man, who attempted to prevent him from setting fire to the mosque door, while worshippers prayed inside.

The two victims were hospitalised, and are reported to be in critical condition.

The assailant, a former candidate for Marie Le Pen's far right Front National party - which is now known as National Rally -, was arrested at his home, roughly 10 km (6.2 miles) away in Saint-Martin-de-Seignanx.

France: Bayonne 'in shock' in aftermath of mosque shooting02:56
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The mayor of Bayonne Jean-Rene Etchegaray said on Tuesday that his town was "in shock," following the shooting that took place at a local mosque the previous day.

"We have never experienced with the mosque, or in front of the mosque, any manifestation of opposition towards the practice of Muslim faith. Besides, this town is a land of welcome and tolerance," said Etchegaray.

The regional president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith expressed his worry over the attack.

"They fire at innocents, they fire at people who didn't do anything to them. And it's becoming serious because it happened today in Bayonne, it can happen tomorrow in Poitiers, it can happen tomorrow in Bordeaux. So it's something that today haunts us and doesn't let us have peace of mind to practice religion with dignity and spirituality. And so it's something that worries us because we are not safe from anything," he shared.

A local resident also conveyed his dismay at the attack, saying that "'it's not possible to live moments like this. And to be an actor [of these events] is even worse, because it affects life, humans are hurt, humans die. Whether you are Muslim or Catholic, for me it's the same."

Footage shows a police presence in front of the cordoned off mosque.

On Monday, an 84-year-old man fired several shots injuring a 74-year-old man and a 78-year-old man, who attempted to prevent him from setting fire to the mosque door, while worshippers prayed inside.

The two victims were hospitalised, and are reported to be in critical condition.

The assailant, a former candidate for Marie Le Pen's far right Front National party - which is now known as National Rally -, was arrested at his home, roughly 10 km (6.2 miles) away in Saint-Martin-de-Seignanx.

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