Published July 31, 2016
An asylum seeker on Sunday stabbed a 65-year-old Belgian priest before fleeing, and the assailant is still on the run, authorities said.
The priest, identified as Father Jos Vanderlee, sustained wounds to his hands and required surgery. His injuries were not life threatening, according to Le Soir, a French language Belgian newspaper.
Prosecutors said the attack, which occurred in Lanaken, is not terror related, and police are searching for witnesses. The attacker is not a resident of a nearby refugee center, Le Soir reported.
Vanderlee celebrated his 40th anniversary as a priest in July and is responsible for eight local parishes.
The attacker allegedly told Vanderlee on Sunday afternoon that he was an asylum seeker, and he asked the priest if he could take a shower at Vanderlee’s home. The priest agreed, but after showering the man asked for money. When Vanderlee declined, the man allegedly attacked him with a knife and fled.
The attack on Vanderlee comes just days after a pair of terrorists who pledged allegiance to ISIS slit the throat of an 85-year-old priest in France, killing the man. The attackers then used nuns as human shields when trying to leave the church, but both were shot dead by French authorities. ISIS claimed responsibility for the Tuesday attack.