On Saturday, an attacker carrying a hunting rifle wounded a Orthodox priest when he was shot in the French city of Lyon before fleeing, according to a police source.

The priest, who holds Greek citizenship, closed the church when the attack occurred and is now in a critical condition, according to the source.

The source said that the priest was shot twice and received treatment at the scene for life-threatening injuries.

Witnesses stated that the church belongs to the Greek Orthodox.

Another police source said that the priest was able to inform the emergency services upon arrival that he did not recognize the aggressor.

The French Interior Ministry said on Twitter that "the security and rescue forces are at the site," adding, "They avoided the place and followed the authorities' instructions."

For his part, Lyon Mayor Gregory Doucet said it was not clear why the attacker had shot the priest.

A source with local prosecutors in Lyon said that they had opened an investigation into the attempted murder.

This comes 3 days after the attack on a church in Nice, which left 3 people dead.

The authorities granted an exemption until Monday, including places of worship, to celebrate All Saints' Day, before a lockdown was imposed to combat the Covid-19 epidemic.

After the Nice attack, French President Emmanuel Macron announced an increase in the number of security forces charged with protecting places of worship and schools from 3,000 to 7,000.

In addition to these, about 7 thousand other security personnel, half of them from the gendarmerie’s reserves, will be placed, as of Monday, at the disposal of district governors to ensure security.

Two weeks ago, a teacher was killed in a suburb of Paris by an 18-year-old attacker who was apparently angry at the teacher's display of an insulting caricature of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, in a classroom.

On Friday, a source in the French police announced that security had taken control of a man who threatened its men with two knives in Paris, stressing that the incident did not cause injuries.

On Friday, the French police said they had arrested a man suspected of being linked to the attack in Nice.

Several Muslim countries condemned the Nice attack "strongly" and expressed their solidarity with the French people and the families of the victims.