Two men, who took several people hostage in a church in France’s northern Normandy region, have been “neutralised”, the police confirmed. One of the hostages, a priest, was killed with a blade. French media reported that his throat was slit. The incident has been reported in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, south of Rouen.
French President Francois Hollande, who visited the site of the attack, said the two church attackers ‘claimed to be from’ an Islamic State group. Television visuals showed police blocking the roads around the church and stretchers being pulled out of ambulances.
According to Evening Standard, the men rushed into the church soon after service. A source told the newspaper that two sisters from a local order as well as two parishioners were among the hostages apart from the priest.
A prosecutor told AFP that anti-terrorism judges will probe the incident.
Earlier this month, at least 84 people were killed when a man driving a truck ploughed into a crowd that was celebrating Bastille Day in Nice in France. Many people were injured in the attack. The man was identified to be French with Tunisian origin. The attack was later claimed by the terrorist group Islamic State.
In November 2015, Paris and the northern suburb of Saint Denis witnessed a series of coordinated terror attacks that claimed the lives of 130 people. Seven persons behind the attack were gunned down.
(With Reuters and AFP inputs)