A priest in his mid-80s was killed with a knife and another hostage seriously wounded on Tuesday in an attack on a church in northern France carried out by assailants linked to Islamic State.
Both attackers were shot dead by French police. Five people in all had been taken hostage. A police source said it appeared that the priest had his throat slit.
Speaking at the scene of the attack in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, French President Francois Hollande said France should “use all its means” in its war against the militant group, against which France has launched air strikes in Syria and Iraq.
The president called it a “dreadful terrorist attack” and told reporters the attackers had pledge allegiance to IS. The IS news agency Amaq said two of its “soldiers” had carried out the attack.
“We are put to the test yet again, Hollande said. “The threat remains very high.”
The attack is the latest in a string of deadly assaults in Europe, including the mass killing in Nice, southern France, on Bastille Day and four incidents in Germany.
Many of the attacks have had links to Islamist militants and IS has called for supporters to target countries that it has been fighting, mainly in Iraq and Syria.
Tuesday’s attack took place during morning mass at the Saint-Etienne parish church, south of Rouen in Normandy.
The investigation was handed to the anti-terrorist unit of the Paris prosecutor’s office.
“Please like and share to your friends.”