Police kill an armed man who officials say set fire to a synagogue in the northern French city of Rouen

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that French police “neutralized” an armed man who set fire to a synagogue in the French city of Rouen on Friday.

CBS News partner BBC News reported that police were called to the scene when smoke was seen rising from the building just before 7 a.m. local time. A city official told Reuters news agency that they shot a man who came out of the building after he threw an iron rod at them and threatened them with a knife.

The synagogue reportedly suffered significant damage, but there were no other casualties.

“The entire town of Rouen is bruised and in shock,” Rouen Mayor Nicolas Meyer-Russignol said on social media.

“An armed man somehow climbed onto the synagogue and threw something resembling a Molotov cocktail into the main prayer hall,” Meyer Rossignol told reporters, according to Reuters.

“I’m really upset. It’s catastrophic,” Natasha Ben Haim, head of the Rouen Jewish community, told the BBC.

Ben Haim said that the walls and furniture of the synagogue had turned black due to the fire.

France has the third largest Jewish population in the world after Israel and the United States. It has seen a rise in anti-Semitic acts since then Hamas attack The BBC reported that Israel launched an attack on Israel on October 7, in response to the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

Rabbi Rawan Shmuel Lubecki told French television channel BFM: “Tonight is Saturday and it is important to light candles to show that we are not afraid, and that we continue to practice Judaism despite the circumstances.”

Rouen Mayor Maire Rossignol called on people to gather in front of the city hall at 6 p.m. local time.

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