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French police arrest far-right supporter over mosque shooting

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PARIS (Reuters) – French police have arrested a man suspected of firing shots at a mosque in Bayonne in the southwest of France on Monday.

Two people, aged 74 and 78, were seriously injured in the shooting at 1420 GMT as they tried to prevent the attacker from setting fire to the mosque.

The shooter also set a car on fire while fleeing the area.

“The suspected assailant was arrested by national police … my thoughts are with the victims and their family,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on his Twitter account.

A police source said that the 84-year-old suspect had far-right connections. A separate source familiar with the situation said the man had been a candidate for Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party in 2015.

National Rally’s Le Pen condemned the attack on the mosque.

“The attack … goes against all the values of our movement,” she said.

The police source said a handgun was found in the suspect’s car.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq, Jean-Michel Belot and Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Christian Lowe and David Goodman)

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