Priest, 2 Others Dead During ‘ISIS Executed’ Hostage Situation In France
A senior priest was slaughtered and another person seriously wounded after knife-wielding attackers took 5 persons hostage before being shot dead by the police during a morning Mass on Tuesday at a Catholic church in France
An 84-year-old Catholic priest, the Rev. Jacques Hamel, was killed during the siege as two nuns and two worshippers were taken by the attackers in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen.
The siege ended when the hostage-takers were “neutralized” at the church in the town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, police said.
A French interior ministry spokesman disclosed that a second hostage was in a critical condition.
This is even as the Paris prosecutor’s office said the case had been handed over to anti-terrorism judges for investigation even though the motive behind the incident was yet to be determined.
The killing of the priest is coming on the heels of a string of violent attacks across Europe in recent days, some claimed by the Sunni terror group ISIS, most notably an attack in the French city of Nice less than two weeks ago that left 84 dead.
Speaking on the incident, French President Francois Hollande blamed the “cowardly acts” on ISIS-linked terrorists.
Hollande said the attack was a “cowardly assassination” carried out by “by two terrorists in the name of Daesh” — another name for ISIS.
But he urged the public to remain unified in the face of the threat.
“All people feel affected so we must have cohesion … no one can divide us,” he said. “Terrorists will not give up on anything until we stop them.”