French priest killed in attack claimed by IS

This picture obtained on the website of the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray parish on July 26, 2016 shows late priest Jacques Hamel celebrating a mass on June 11, 2016 in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy.  The 84-year-old Jacques Hamel died on July 26, 2016 after his throat was slit after two attackers stormed the church during a morning mass, taking the five people inside hostage, including the priest, interior ministry spokesman said. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / PAROISSE SAINT-ETIENNE-DU-ROUVRAY" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS  / AFP / http://ser-ta-paroisse.over-blog.org/ / HO / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / PAROISSE SAINT-ETIENNE-DU-ROUVRAY" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

This picture obtained on the website of the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray parish on July 26, 2016 shows late priest Jacques Hamel celebrating a mass on June 11, 2016 in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy. The 84-year-old Jacques Hamel died on July 26, 2016 after his throat was slit after two attackers stormed the church during a morning mass, taking the five people inside hostage, including the priest, interior ministry spokesman said. – AFP

SAINT-ETIENNE-DU-ROUVRAY, France: The Islamic State group said yesterday that two of its “soldiers” stormed a French church and slit a priest’s throat, the latest attack in a country shaken to its core by repeated terror strikes. The hostage drama in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray comes less than two weeks after the truck massacre in the French Riviera city of Nice, which killed 84 people and was also claimed by IS.

Two attackers entered the centuries-old stone St-Etienne church, situated on a calm square in the working-class town of about 30,000 people, during morning mass. Sister Danielle, a nun who was in the church at the time, said elderly priest Jaques Hamel was wearing his white cloaks and was at the foot of the altar when “they forced him to get on his knees and not move”. “He tried to struggle, he tried,” she told local radio RMC. “He knew what was happening.”

She said the men were speaking Arabic and shouting and had “recorded” the attack. She managed to run away and alert the police. French President Francois Hollande said the men had claimed they were acting on behalf of the Islamic State group before being shot dead by police. Shortly afterwards the IS-linked Amaq news agency, citing a “security source”, said the perpetrators were “soldiers of the Islamic State who carried out the attack in response to calls to target countries of the Crusader coalition”. – AFP

This article was published on 26/07/2016