Several shots were fired at the mosque in Bayonne, on Rue Joseph Latxague, various French media outlets reported, adding that a car was also set on fire. The national police of Pyrénées-Atlantiques stated on Twitter that the attacker has been arrested.
The elderly man, armed with a gun, injured at least two people at 3:15 p.m. local time (2:15 p.m. GMT), reports say. Conflicting reports suggest that the man is in his sixties or eighties. The attacker reportedly tried to throw an incendiary device at the building.
According to Reuters, citing a police source, the shooter had right-wing connections and has been a candidate for Marine Le Pen's party.
Pyrénées-Atlantiques prefecture announced in a statement that the victims were two elderly men, 74 and 78 years of age.
Communiqué de la préfecture des Pyrénées-Atlantiques suite à l'arrestation rapide de l’auteur des coups de feu à l’entrée de la mosquée de Bayonne. pic.twitter.com/AugO8qnR8d— Préfet des Pyrénées-Atlantiques (@Prefet64) October 28, 2019
French media reported that the gunman fled after the shooting. He was arrested at his home in Saint-Martin-de-Seignanx in the Landes.
"The Republic will never tolerate hatred", President Emmanuel Macron tweeted. "Everything will be done to punish the perpetrators and protect our Muslim compatriots. I commit myself to it".
Je condamne avec fermeté l’attaque odieuse perpétrée devant la mosquée de Bayonne. J'adresse mes pensées aux victimes. La République ne tolérera jamais la haine. Tout sera mis en œuvre pour punir les auteurs et protéger nos compatriotes de confession musulmane. Je m’y engage.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) October 28, 2019