French police
French policeReuters

A suspect has been arrested after the shooting of a Greek Orthodox priest outside his church in the French city of Lyon, Euronews reported.

The priest is in serious condition, police sources told the AFP news agency.

A person who matched the description given by witnesses is now in police custody, according to the public prosecutor of Lyon, Nicolas Jacquet. The suspect was not carrying a gun at the time of the arrest.

At this stage of the investigation, the motive is still unknown.

Police quickly secured the area in the 7th district of Lyon near Jean Macé metro station, asking people to clear the area, according to Euronews.

"Serious events just occurred in Lyon. I do not yet have precise elements about the circumstances about this act. The interior minister will activate the crisis center. And I will immediately go to Paris to learn more about the situation," French Prime Minister Jean Castex said at a press conference.

Castex repeated the government's plan to place extra security near schools, religious sites and public spaces following the incident in Nice and a teacher's beheading outside of Paris.

The incident comes three days after an Islamic extremist killed three people in a church in Nice. The attacker has been named as Brahim Aouissaoui, 21, a Tunisian who entered France from Italy, and was carrying a copy of the Quran on him at the time of the attack.

France has been a spate of Islamist attacks in recent weeks. On October 16, teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by a Chechen man in a suburb of Paris after showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during a class on freedom of speech.

Last month, a 25-year-old man wounded two people in a meat cleaver attack in Paris. He was subsequently charged with "attempted murder with relation to a terrorist enterprise."

In recent years, France has been hit by a number of attacks claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS), the biggest one being the attack in November of 2015 in which 129 people were murdered.