Priest killed with knife at church in France

ChurchMNA International Desk: An 84-year-old priest has been killed with a knife at a church in northern France. Another person was seriously injured, after two men with alleged links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took numerous people hostage in an attack.

Father Jacques Hamel reportedly had his throat slit on Tuesday before French police entered and shot dead the attackers. French law enforcement agency detained one person in linking with the attack.

On Tuesday, French prosecutor Francois Molins recognized one of the attackers as 19-year-old Adel Kermiche, who was under investigation after having tried to travel to Syria twice. He was under house arrest and wearing an electronic checking anklet at the time of the attack.

Speaking outside the church, French President Francois Hollande called it a “dreadful terrorist attack” and told reporters the assailants had pledged allegiance to ISIL, also known as ISIS. “We are put to the test yet again. The threat remains very high.” Hollande said

The Vatican in a statement called the incident a “barbarous killing”, saying it was even more heinous because it happened in a sacred place.

Church attackers found in IS video

The ISIL linked Amaq website said two of its “soldiers” had carried out the attack. Islamic State’s news agency on Wednesday posted a video of two men it said were those who attacked a church in France in which they pledged allegiance to the group’s leader.

The video was posted by Amaq news agency a day after two men burst into the Catholic Church in Normandy during a service.

The two men who identified themselves as Abu Omar and Abu Jalil el-Hanafy appeared in the one-minute video sitting on a staircase pledging loyalty to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State’s leader.

However, French lawmakers approved a six-month extension of emergency rule after the July 14 attack while the Socialist government also said it would step up strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.


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