Tuesday, 26 July 2016
French church attack: Priest killed, hostage takers shot dead by police
A priest has been killed during a hostage situation at a church in northern France, according to a police source. The two attackers slit his throat, police sources told Reuters.
Both attackers have been killed by police, an interior ministry spokesman confirmed to Reuters. The Paris anti-terrorist prosecutor is launching an investigation into the church attack and hostage-taking situation, the spokesman added.
According to Le Point, one of the worshippers has also been killed. Police have so far only officially confirmed the death the priest, who was "killed with a blade."
Le Point also reports that the attackers shouted "Daesh" (the Arabic acronym for the terrorist group Islamic State) as they broke into the church. This has not been officially confirmed.
The attackers briefly held a total of five people. One of the hostages was seriously wounded, a spokesman for the interior ministry said.
SWAT and anti-terrorist units, as well as firefighters, promptly arrived at the scene.
"Don't break the security perimeter to take photos/videos, you're interfering with the police work," local police warned on Twitter.
Local media say that a female worshipper alerted the police.
French President Francois Hollande is on his way to the site of the attack, according to an official statement from Elysee Palace. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is also headed to the scene of the hostage-taking, the ministry said.