Two knife-wielding attackers who had pledged allegiance to ISIS, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” slit the throat of an 84-year-old priest and critically wounded at least one other person during a Tuesday morning terror attack on a Catholic church near the Normandy city of Rouen, officials said.
The French interior ministry said the murdered man was among nuns and worshippers taken hostage on Tuesday morning, while a second victim was in a life-threatening condition. Another was lightly wounded and three others were freed unharmed.
The church’s 84-year-old priest, who had served the local area for decades, reportedly had his throat slit by the attackers.
Dominique Lebrun, the Archbishop of Rouen, paid tribute to Father Jacques Hamel and called for “prayer and brotherhood” in the face of terror.
President Francois Hollande and Bernard Cazeneuve, the French interior minister, met the three uninjured hostages and families of the victims after visiting the scene.
Mr Hollande said the two attackers pledged allegiance to Isis, while the terrorist group praised them as “soldiers of the Islamic State” in a statement via its propaganda agency.
The terrorists were later shot and killed by police.
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