- Two jihadists stormed a Catholic Church in France during a morning mass and killed its priest
- The terrorists forced the 84-year-old priest to kneel and then recorded the attack as they slit his throat
- Both the terrorists were killed by the police and the other hostages survived the incident
Another terror attack had occurred in France, with two jihadists attacking a Catholic Church in the town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during morning mass. The terrorists killed Father Jacques Hamel, an 84-year-old priest, by slitting his throat and caused serious injuries to a worshipper in the church.
According to investigators, one of the attackers was 19-year-old Adel Kermiche – who was under house arrest for charges of terrorism. Their attack was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, less than two weeks after Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel killed 84 people and injured 300 during his attack in the city of Nice.
Although Kermiche was under house arrest, he was allowed to leave his house during the weekdays from 8:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. It was during this period when he and another jihadist stormed the Saint-Etienne church and held the priest hostage along with three nuns and two worshippers.
One of the nuns was able to escape and call for help. When the police arrived, they tried to negotiate with the terrorists.
The nun said that the priest was wearing his white vestments during the assault while the jihadists were speaking Arabic and even recording their crime.
After negotiations failed and Hamel was killed, the police launched an assault on the church and were able to shoot to death the two terrorists. One of them was shouting “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) just before dying. The other hostages were able to survive but one worshipper sustained serious injuries.
Residents of the small town were shocked by the incident are scared of further attacks.
“I thought it would only be in big cities, that it couldn’t reach here,” a store employee said.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis expressed his pain and horror at the brutal murder of the elderly priest.
"We are particularly stricken because this horrible violence occurred in a church -- a sacred place in which the love of God is proclaimed -- with the barbaric killing of a priest," Vatican spokesperson Father Federico Lombardi said.