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French Church Attackers Had Ties to Daesh - Hollande

© REUTERS / Steve BonetPolice and rescue workers stand at the scene after two assailants had taken five people hostage in the church at Saint-Etienne-du -Rouvray near Rouen in Normandy, France
Police and rescue workers stand at the scene after two assailants had taken five people hostage in the church at Saint-Etienne-du -Rouvray near Rouen in Normandy, France - Sputnik International
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French Presiden Francois Hollande said that hostage crisis in northern Normandy region is a terrorist attack, the two knifemen had links with Daesh.

Two Armed Men Take Hostages in Church in France's Normandy - Sputnik International
Two Armed Men Take Hostages in Church in France's Normandy
Earlier in the day, two armed men took five people hostage at the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray church in the Seine-Maritime commune.

According to the France Info news outlet, both attackers have been killed by the law enforcement.

The BFMTV broadcaster later reported that the dead hostage was a priest.

Visiting the scene of the attack Francois Hollande said the priest’s throat was slit by two knife-wielding attackers "claiming to be from Daesh," Arabic language acronym for the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) terror group.

The president, who was speaking at the community of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen, where the attacked church is located, vowed to continue the fight against Islamism.

In this grab made from video, police officers speak to a driver as they close off a road during a hostage situation in Normandy, France, Tuesday, July 26, 2016. - Sputnik International
French PM on 'Barbaric' Church Attack: 'We Will Stand Shoulder to Shoulder'
Hollande said he had met with the family of the deceased and expressed his support for all Catholics.

"Catholics have been attacked, all Catholics, but also all the French," Hollande said, adding the nation must stand united.

Earlier, Pope Francis has expressed his horror at the 'barbaric killing' of the priest during the incident.

"The pope… shares the pain and horror of this absurd violence," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said as cited by AFP, adding that the attack created "immense pain and worry".

"His Holiness Pope Francis assures you of his spiritual closeness and joins in prayer with the suffering of the families and with the pain of the parish and the diocese of Rouen… The Holy Father is particularly troubled to learn that this act of violence took place in a church, during Mass, a liturgical act that implores of God His peace on earth," the Holy Sea press office's statement reads.

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