Sunday 11 December 2016

Hunt underway for gunman after woman stabbed to death in retirement home for monks

* Man entered the building armed with a sawn-off shotgun and knife
* Member of staff was able to escape and raise the alarm
* 'Nothing at this stage would indicate that this would be a terrorist act'

Indpendent.ie Newsdesk

Published 24/11/2016 | 22:52

Gendarmes stand guard on a road near a retirement home for monks in Montferrier-sur-Lez, southern France, early on November 25, 2016, after an armed man bursted in the home killing a woman with a knife. Photo: Getty Images
Gendarmes stand guard on a road near a retirement home for monks in Montferrier-sur-Lez, southern France, early on November 25, 2016, after an armed man bursted in the home killing a woman with a knife. Photo: Getty Images
Armed police were hunting the man inside the home, which is home to around 70 men and women who have served as missionaries in Africa. Authorities said it was a "criminal act". Photo: Getty Images
The retirement home in Montpellier

Police are searching for an armed man after finding a dead woman in a retirement home where 60 monks are living in southwestern France, sources close to the matter have revealed.

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According to reports a masked man entered the home armed with a knife and a sawn-off shotgun at around 9.45pm (local time).

Firemen and rescuers stand on a road near a retirement home for monks in Montferrier-sur-Lez, southern France, early on after an armed man bursted in the home killing a woman with a knife.
Armed police were hunting the man inside the home, which is home to around 70 men and women who have served as missionaries in Africa. Authorities said it was a
Firemen and rescuers stand on a road near a retirement home for monks in Montferrier-sur-Lez, southern France, early on after an armed man bursted in the home killing a woman with a knife. Armed police were hunting the man inside the home, which is home to around 70 men and women who have served as missionaries in Africa. Authorities said it was a "criminal act". / AFP PHOTO / Pascal GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images

Units of the local gendarmerie are at the scene at the home of African missions on Baillarguet Road in Montferrier-sur-Lez, north of Montpellier.

Metropolitain is reporting that a staff member was able to escape and raise the alarm.

According Reuters, on entering the building, police found the body of an elderly woman who had been stabbed several times.

Some reports have suggest that the woman was a nun who was a resident at the facility

"Nothing at this stage would indicate that this would be a terrorist act," another source said.

BFMTV is reporting that the motives of the suspect are currently "unknown".

AFP is reporting that the 59 residents are now "put in safety".

France is currently under a state of emergency following a series of terrorist attacks by Islamist terrorists.

In July an 84-year-old Catholic priest was murdered during morning mass at the parish church in Saint Etienne-du-Rouvray, a suburb of Rouen.

The two attackers, who said they were from Islamic State, slit Father Jacques Hamel's throat before being shot dead by police.

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