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Catholic priest murdered in western France, Rwandan immigrant hands himself in

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A Rwandan immigrant walked into a police station in western France on Monday and said he had murdered a Catholic priest, a source close to the investigation said.

Police found the body of the priest shortly afterwards in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre, Vendee region.

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The source said the suspect had been involved in an arson attack on Nantes cathedral in 2020.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said he would travel to the area.

“All my support to Catholics in our country after the dramatic killing of a priest in the Vendee. I’m headed there,” Darmanin wrote on Twitter.

Senator Bruno Retailleau, who represents the Vendee region, identified the victim as Olivier Maire. He said the local Catholic church had been housing the Rwandan man.

“Deeply shocked by the terrible murder of a priest who had taken in his murderer into his care,” Retailleau said on Twitter.

“What was this man still doing in France?” the senator asked.

Read more: Court in France charges man over priest murder