Woman Murdered at French Home for Missionaries

Police aren't sure whether attack linked to terrorism
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 24, 2016 11:48 PM CST
Updated Nov 25, 2016 2:10 AM CST
Firefighters and ambulances are seen in the village of Montferrier-sur-Lez, southern France, Friday, Nov. 25, 2016.   (Uncredited)
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(Newser) – French police have launched a massive manhunt for a masked gunman who murdered a woman at a retirement home for Catholic missionaries Thursday night. Montpellier prosecutor Christophe Barret says a woman called police to say she had been attacked at the facility in the village of Montferrier-sur-Lez, the Guardian reports. Officers arrived to find the body of another woman who had been gagged, tied up, and stabbed. The original caller was shaken but not badly harmed, police say. Security forces searched the building, which is home to around 70 elderly men and women, but could not find the attacker.

Security at religious sites in France was stepped up after a series of attacks by Islamic extremists, but authorities haven't said whether the latest attack was a terrorist act, the AP reports. "For the time being, there is only one victim," Barret tells AFP. "For the moment there is no particular evidence about the motive for this crime." Earlier this year, ISIS attackers slit the throat of an 86-year-old priest in Normandy after storming the church during morning services. (Read more France stories.)

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