Priest killed in hostage situation in France

26 Jul 2016 | By Supriya Kaur
Hostage situation in Rouen, France: Suspected terrorist attack

Two men armed with knives took 4-6 people hostage, including nuns, in a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. The Catholic Priest, Jacques Hamel, was killed.

A hostage who managed to escape alerted the situation to the police and security forces arrived quickly.

According to the spokesperson of France's Police Nationale, both armed men were 'neutralised' by security forces as they exited the Church.

In context: Hostage situation in Rouen, France: Suspected terrorist attack


The latest terror attack in France, a hostage situation, unravelled in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, a suburb of Rouen, capital of Normandy. The town is home to 29,000 inhabitants and is located sixty-five miles northwest of Paris.

26 Jul 2016Priest killed in hostage situation in France

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What followed?Aftermath

France's National Police urged locals to maintain a distance from the security cordons and avoid taking photos and videos of the crime scene.

A bomb squad searched the church and counselors provided aid to three hostages who weren't injured.

The Paris prosecutor said, the incident is being investigated as a 'terrorist attack' by the national counter-terrorism task force and the Internal Security intelligence agency.

Horrified and stunnedReactions and responses

President Francois Hollande accompanied by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve will arrive shortly at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray to be briefed by the police.

Marine Le pen, leader of the populist-right wing party in France 'Front National' tweeted that this attack would deepen fear in the heart of the French.

Spokesperson of the Vatican said Pope Francis was "horrified" with the barbaric killing of Rev. Jacques Hamel.


The Catholic priest of the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray church, Jacques Hamel was in his late 80s. One of the attackers slit his throat with a knife during morning mass.

Jacques Hamal was a cherished member of the community; he was ordained in 1958 and had lived there for very long.

Three other people were injured during the hostage situation; one of whom is critically injured.

Who were they?Attackers

Multiple witnesses said the armed attackers shouted "Daesh" - Arabic name for 'Islamic State' before beheading the Catholic priest.

One of the attackers was jailed in France for trying to travel to Syria in 2015; he was also under electronic surveillance for the last year.

Information about the second attacker is not yet available.