(Morning Star News) – Two men swearing allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) killed a priest by slitting his throat during a morning Mass in a village in northern France today, according to press reports.
The attackers took the Rev. Jacques Hamel, 86 (other reports said 84 and 85), hostage along with others in a village outside of Rouen. A nun who escaped told Fox News that they shouted the jihadist slogan, “Allahu Akbar (God is greater)” during the attack and forced the priest to his knees before killing him.
The attackers were shot dead when they came out of the church building after police had surrounded it, the French Interior Ministry spokesman reportedly said. The Washington Post reported that one person has been detained in connection with the attack.
President Francois Hollande said the assailants claimed to be from IS. The terrorist group’s Amaq news agency said “two IS soldiers” carried out the attack, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. Hollande was reported to have arrived in St. Etienne-du-Rouvray and said the attackers had committed a “cowardly assassination,” and that France would fight IS “by all means.”
French officials said investigations would be led by anti-terrorism prosecutors. French intelligence services had been tracking one of the assailants, French TV channel M6 reported.
The Washington Post reported that France is under an extended state of emergency after a truck rampage through Bastille Day crowds in the Riviera city of Nice on July 14 that killed at least 84 people.
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