Catholic priest stabbed in Turkey; suspect detained

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December 16, 2007 17:58

 
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A Catholic priest was hospitalized Sunday after being stabbed, the Italian Embassy in Turkey said. Police said they detained the suspected attacker. The assault was the latest in a string of attacks on Christians in Turkey and was likely to add to concerns about whether the predominantly Muslim country - which is bidding for European Union membership - can protect its Christian community. The priest, Adriano Franchini, was stabbed after Sunday Mass at St. Anthony's church in the port city of Izmir, said Simon Carta, the Italian consul in Izmir. The priest is responsible for the Capucine order in Turkey and heads the Church of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, Carta said. He said the priest was conscious when he was taken to a hospital. The state-run Anatolia news agency said Franchini was stabbed in the stomach but his condition was not life-threatening.

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