Police kill armed man officials say set fire to synagogue in northern France

French police "neutralized" an armed man who set fire to a synagogue in the French city of Rouen on Friday, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said.

Police were called to the scene when smoke was spotted emerging from the building just before 7 a.m. local time, CBS News partner network BBC News reported. They shot a man emerging from the building after he threw an iron bar at them and threatened them with a knife, a city official told the Reuters news agency.

The synagogue reportedly was significantly damaged, but there were no other injuries.

"The entire town of Rouen is bruised and in shock," Rouen Mayor Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol said on social media.

"An armed man somehow climbed up the synagogue and threw an object, a sort of molotov cocktail, into the main praying room," Mayer-Rossignol told journalists, according to Reuters.

"I'm really upset. It's catastrophic," the head of Rouen's Jewish community, Natacha Ben Haïm, told the BBC.

Ben Haïm said the walls and furniture of the synagogue had been left blackened by the fire.

France has the third largest Jewish population in the world, after Israel and the United States. It has seen a rise in antisemitic acts since Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7 and Israel's invasion of Gaza in response, the BBC reported.

"Tonight is Shabbat and it is important to light the candles to show that we're not afraid, that we continue to practice Judaism despite the circumstances," Rouen Rabbi Chmouel Lubecki told French broadcaster BFM TV.

Rouen Mayor Mayer-Rossignol called for people to rally in front of the town hall at 6 p.m. local time.

Woman attacked by bull on Mexico beach after ignoring warnings

Pope Francis on blessing same-sex couples

Morehouse College prepares for possible disruptions ahead of Biden's commencement address