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Manhunt underway after masked man attacks religious community in France; at least one person dead—UPDATED

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 11/24/16

Details are sketchy right now, but we have this report: 

Anti-terrorist police were searching for a masked gunman overnight after at least one woman was murdered at a home for retired missionary monks in the south of France.

The bloodbath unfolded at the Green Oaks care home in the village of Montferrier-sur-Lez, north of Montpellier, soon after 9.30pm.

Shots were heard as the unidentified intruder attacked member of staff and members of an elderly religious community belonging to the Society of African Missions.

Police have put up roadblocks around the area to try and detain the killer on the run.

One warden is said to have ‘discreetly raised the alarm,’ before being bound and gagged by the man, who was armed with a sawn off shotgun and a knife.

Those killed are thought to be a woman worker who was tied up, and then stabbed three times.

Early fears that a man was also killed alongside her have not been confirmed.

Read more. 

UPDATE: It does not appear to be linked to terrorism. The latest, from Reuters:

French police are hunting for a man after finding a woman dead in a retirement home in southern France where some 60 Roman Catholic missionaries live, but they have ruled out any link to Islamist terrorism, a prosecutor said on Friday. “At this stage we can’t say exactly what the perpetrator’s motive was, but what we can say is that there is no link, none at all, with Islamist terrorism,” Montpellier prosecutor Christophe Barret told reporters. Security forces were called to the home in Montferrier-sur-Lez, about 10 km (6 miles) north of Montpellier, late on Thursday, after a woman who had been bound and gagged freed herself and escaped from the home. On entering the building, police found the body of a 54-year-old linen maid who had been stabbed several times, Barret said. He said investigators had found a car near the scene of the crime that contained a replica firearm and other materials that enabled them to identify a suspect. “The investigation is focusing on a local track, meaning somebody within the entourage of the retirement home,” he said. The home houses retired missionaries who had worked in Africa as well as a few nuns.

Photo: EPA/Daily Mail

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