ISIS Claims Attack That Killed Elderly Priest in French Church
Another is critically injured; 2 attackers dead
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 26, 2016 5:33 AM CDT
Updated Jul 26, 2016 9:00 AM CDT
In this grab made from video, police officers close off a road during a hostage situation in Normandy, France.   (BFM via AP)
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(Newser) – More misery in France: Two attackers took hostages inside a French church during morning Mass on Tuesday near the city of Rouen, killing an 86-year-old Catholic priest by slitting his throat before being shot and killed by police, reports AP. The Islamic State claimed responsibility. Another person inside the church in Normandy was seriously injured and is hovering between life and death, said Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet. Police managed to rescue the only three other people inside the church in the small northwestern town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, he told reporters. It was the first known attack inside a French church in recent times. A church was targeted last year, but the attack never was carried out.

French President Francois Hollande, arriving on the scene, called it a "vile terrorist attack" and said it's one more sign that France is at war with the Islamic State, which has claimed a string of attacks on France. "We must lead this war with all our means," he said, adding that he was calling a meeting on Wednesday of representatives of all religions. France is currently on high alert after an attack in Nice on Bastille Day—July 14—that killed 84 people and a string of deadly attacks last year claimed by the Islamic State group that killed 147 victims. A statement published by the ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency said the attack was carried out by "two soldiers of the Islamic State" who acted in response to calls to target nations in the US-led coalition fighting in Iraq and Syria.