France church attack: Priest killed by two ‘IS soldiers’

France church attack: Priest killed by two ‘IS soldiers’


A priest has been killed in an attack by two armed men on his church in a suburb of Rouen in northern France.

The attackers entered the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during Mass, taking the priest, Fr Jacques Hamel, 84, and four other people hostage.

Police later surrounded the church and French TV said shots were fired. Both hostage-takers are now dead.

The Amaq news agency, linked to so-called Islamic State, said “two IS soldiers” had carried out the attack.

President Francois Hollande said the men had claimed to be from IS.

Speaking in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, he said the attackers had committed a “cowardly assassination” and France would fight IS “by all means”.

Pope Francis decried the “pain and horror of this absurd violence”.

French interior ministry spokesman, Pierre-Henri Brandet, said one of the hostages had been critically wounded.