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French police has neutralized an alleged bomb left in a cathedral

Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News

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A man entered during the morning service, left a suspicious package and fled

French police have evacuated the Toulouse Cathedral of Saint-Etienne after a man who entered during the morning service left a suspicious package, the Associated Press reported, quoting Interior Minister Gerald Darmanen.

The package is believed to have contained an improvised explosive device, without a detonator, which did not explode, the minister said in a statement. The device has been neutralized.

The initially issued warning to citizens to avoid the center of Toulouse has been revoked, Darmanen said on Twitter. No arrests were reported.

The archpriest of the cathedral, Simon D’Artig, told the local newspaper “Depeche” that the man escaped after leaving a package on the steps of the altar. A priest who tried unsuccessfully to stop him told the newspaper that he initially thought of him as a courier.

Extremists have already attacked churches in France, reminds AP. In 2020, three believers were killed in a cold steel attack on the Basilica of Nice by a recently arrived Tunisian. In 2016, an 84-year-old priest was killed in front of a church altar in a town in Normandy, with the Islamic State claiming responsibility for the attack.

Photo: The Cathedrale St-Etienne Toulouse

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