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BREAKING: Priest killed in attack on French church—UPDATED

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Awful news this morning, from the The Daily Mail: 

A priest has been butchered by two ‘Islamic’ knifemen who cut his throat after bursting into a French church and taking nuns and worshippers hostage before being shot dead by police.

Five people including the priest, two nuns and two parishioners were held by assailants who raided the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near the city of Rouen in Normandy at 9am.

The clergyman was knifed to death during the attack while another hostage is fighting for their life in hosptial. The two attackers have been ‘neutralised’ by elite marksmen in a dramatic police operation.

At least one of the men was dressed in Islamic clothing, according to French media reports, and an anti-terrorist unit has already taken up the investigation.

Read more.

From another report: 

Reports say the men entered the church at around 10am on Tuesday during mass via a rear door.

The attackers yelled “Daesh” (an Arabic acronym for Isis) upon entering the church, reported Le Point newspaper

Pray, please, for all concerned. A short time ago the local archbishop, who is in Krakow for World Youth Day, released this statement: 

From Krakow, I have learnt with sadness of the killing this morning at the Church of Saint-Etienne du Rouvray. The three victims: the priest, Father Jacques Hamel, 84, and the authors of the assassination. Three other people were injured, one very seriously. I cry out to God with all men of good will. I would invite non-believers to join in the cry! With the young people at WYD, we pray as we prayed at the tomb of Father Popiulusko in Warsaw, assassinated during the communist regime.

The Vicar General, Father Philippe Maheut, is on location since the beginning. I will be tonight in my diocese with the families and the parish community which is very much in shock. The Catholic Church cannot take weapons other than those of prayer and brotherhood among men. I leave here hundreds of young people who are the future of humanity, the true ones. I ask them not to give in to the violence and become apostles of the civilization of love.

Dominique Lebrun
Archbishop of Rouen
July 26, 2016

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him…

UPDATE: ISIS has now claimed responsibility:

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the latest attack in France in which two attackers invaded a church and killed an 84-year-old priest before being shot and killed by police.

The claim came in a statement published Tuesday by the IS-affiliated Aamaq news agency.

It added the attack was in response to its calls to target countries of the U.S.-led coalition which is fighting IS.

Photo: AFP

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