18:33 GMT +323 September 2019
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    French President Francois Hollande (C) flanked by Hubert Wulfranc mayor of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray (L) and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (R), speaks to the press as he leaves the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray's city hall following a hostage-taking at a church of the town on July 26, 2016 that left the priest dead.

    Hollande: Islamist Threat Has Never Been So Great in Europe

    © AFP 2019 / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU
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    French President Francois Hollande said that the Europe is subjected to unprecedented threat from Islamist militants following a deadly Daesh hostage crisis in Normandy.

    Two knife-wielding men stabbed a priest to death after taking five people hostage inside a church in a small commune near Rouen. Daesh, banned in many countries including Russia, claimed responsibility for the murder.

    He said that war against terrorism will be long but France will win it.

    "This will be a long war. Its target is our democracy, but it will be our shiled. We should be united, and unity is our strength. Let us unite, all of us, Frenchmen and Frenchwomen. I assure you, we will win this war. Long live France!"

    ​He noted that "killing a priest and attacking a church means attacking entire France."

    According to the media reports, one of the attackers tried to go to Syria via Turkey in 2015 but was detained and extradited to France, where he was put in prison.

    "The terrorists want to divide us, to disunite us, to make us oppose one another, to hurt us. Facing this threat, which has never been this serious in France and in Europe, the government reaffirms its determination to fight against terrorism, using all the human and technical resources," Hollande added.

    Daesh is notorious for its human rights atrocities and brutal tactics, such as public beheadings and the stoning of women.


    Déclaration à Saint-Etienne-de-Rouvray elysee

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    terrorism, Francois Hollande, France
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