How Catholic Priest was slaughtered with blade in French church assault (See Full Detail)
Two aggressors killed a Catholic Priest with a blade and seriously wounded another hostage in a church in northern France on Tuesday before being shot dead by French police.
The assault occurred amid morning mass at the Saint-Etienne area church, south of Rouen in Normandy. Five individuals were at first kidnapped.
There were no immediate details on the identity or motives of the two assailants yet the examination was given to the counter terrorist unit of the Paris prosecutor’s office.
A police source said it appeared that the priest had had his throat slit. The attack is the latest in a string of deadly assaults in Europe, including the mass killing in Nice on Bastille Day and four incidents in Germany. Many of the attacks have had links to Islamist militants.
The Archbishop of Rouen identified the slain priest as Father Jacques Hamel. The Vatican condemned what it said was a “barbarous killing”.
French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told France Info radio that the perpetrators have been killed by France’s BRI, its elite police anti-crime force, when they came out of the church.
He said that bomb squad officers aided by sniffer dogs had been scouring the church for any possible explosives. Prime Minister Manuel Valls branded the attack “barbaric” and said it was a blow to all Catholics and the whole of France.
“We will stand together,” Valls said on Twitter.