ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Seven Greek Orthodox bishops were hospitalized Wednesday after allegedly being attacked with a caustic liquid by a priest facing a disciplinary hearing in Athens, authorities said.
The incident occurred at a meeting of senior Church of Greece officials. The 37-year-old priest, who was facing the hearing for alleged drug-related offences, was arrested.
A police officer who helped restrain the suspect was also injured, as were two lawyers present. They were transferred to hospital for treatment.
Police said it was not immediately clear what liquid was used, but added that the victims were being treated for burns.
“It is an unprecedented event, a tragic event,” Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said after a visit to the Athens hospital where the bishops were initially treated.
He said four of the bishops were more lightly injured and were receiving first aid, while one was transferred to the plastic surgery unit of another hospital and the other two might also be transferred to other hospitals with specialized units, including one with a specialist eye clinic.
Kikilias said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had asked for constant updates on the case.
The exact motives for the attack were not immediately clear.