84-year-old man arrested after two seriously hurt in French mosque attack

Pyrenees-Atlantique Police said a man tried to set fire to the door of a mosque in the city of Bayonne, and shot at two men, aged 74 and 78, who startled him. Both were seriously injured.

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The attacker had been a member of Marine Le Pen’s far-right party National Front until 2015, according to the party’s official. (The party is now known as National Rally.)

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“This man was effectively a part of the 8,000 candidates we had for the [2015] regional elections,” National Rally vice president and European Parliament MP Jordan Bardella told CNN affiliate BFM TV on Monday.

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“I can assure you that nothing throughout his path would’ve suggested that he was crazy,” Bardella said on BFM TV.

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“He was dismissed in 2015 after the regional elections for which he was a candidate,” Bardella said, adding the man was “obviously not a part of the movement anymore.”

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The injured men were being treated in hospital, according to a police statement.

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Police said the suspect set fire to a car before fleeing the scene. He was later arrested at his home in Les Landes, north of Bayonne.

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President Emmanuel Macron has condemned “the heinous attack.”

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“My thoughts are with the victims,” he said.

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“The Republic will never tolerate hatred. Everything will be done to punish the perpetrators and protect our compatriots of the Muslim faith,” Macron added.

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