June 25, 2024

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Rouen, France: Police shot dead an armed assailant as he attempted to set fire to a synagogue

Rouen, France: Police shot dead an armed assailant as he attempted to set fire to a synagogue

Olya Solodenko/iStockPhoto/Getty Images

The synagogue in Rouen, France, where an armed assailant was shot dead.


Paris
CNN

Police shot dead an armed attacker who was trying to set fire to a synagogue in the northern French city of Rouen, according to authorities.

The local mayor said a suspicious man entered the building early Friday morning and threw what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail.

The mayor of Rouen, Nicolas Meyer-Rosignol, told reporters at the scene that the man climbed over the trash can and reached the second floor of the synagogue, then threw the projectile at the building, causing a fire.

“He was [quickly] The security forces shot it down before trying to confront it. Then he tried to attack the security forces with a knife, a long knife,” he said, adding that this happened when the security forces opened fire and killed the suspect.

No one was harmed during the attempted attack, according to Meyer Rossignol. He said police arrived very quickly, in part because they saw the suspect on surveillance cameras.

Meyer Rossignol said the local prosecutor’s office had opened two investigations, one into arson and the other into police firing of weapons.

“Unfortunately, we were expecting this,” Shmuel Lubecki, the synagogue’s rabbi, told CNN affiliate BFMTV on Friday morning.

“We all have that anxiety inside us, but when it actually happens, it’s still shocking,” he added.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted his support for the police who intervened.

“Early this morning, police officers in Rouen killed an armed person who clearly intended to set fire to the city’s synagogue. I congratulate them on their response and courage,” Darmanin said.

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Rouen authorities intensified police presence at the city’s synagogue following the October 7 attacks in Israel.

Security has been tightened at Jewish institutions across France in response to tensions surrounding the ongoing war between Israel and Gaza. Last month, Darmanin announced additional security measures at synagogues and Jewish schools.

“With Passover approaching and given the current international situation, I have asked local officials to significantly strengthen security in places visited by our Jewish compatriots, especially with regard to synagogues and Jewish schools,” the minister wrote on the X website.