Priest’s throat slit in French at­tack

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

SAINT-ETI­ENNE-DU-ROUVRAY — At­tack­ers slit the throat of a priest dur­ing a hostage-tak­ing at his church in the north­ern French town of Sain­tE­ti­enne-du-Rouvray yes­ter­day, sources close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion told AFP.

The arch­bishop of the nearby city of Rouen, Do­minique Le­brun, named the priest as 84-year-old Jac­ques Hamel.

Po­lice said they killed two hostage-takers in the at­tack in the Nor­mandy town of Saint-Eti­enne-duRou­vray, 125 km north of Paris.

An­other hostage was “be­tween life and death”, the in­te­rior min­istry said.

The mo­ti­va­tions for the hostage-tak­ing were not yet clear, but the Paris pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice said the case had been handed to anti-ter­ror­ism judges for in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The in­ci­dent comes as France re­mains on high alert nearly two weeks af­ter Tu­nisian Mohamed La­houaiej Bouh­lel ploughed a truck into a crowd of peo­ple cel­e­brat­ing Bastille Day in the French Riviera city of Nice, killing 84 peo­ple and in­jur­ing over 300.

French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande, who is from Rouen, and In­te­rior Min­is­ter Bernard Cazeneuve were on their way to the scene, their of­fices said.

Footage showed sev­eral emer­gency ve­hi­cles at the scene and the streets sealed off.

The Nice at­tack was the third ma­jor strike on France in 18 months and was claimed by the Is­lamic State group.

Two at­tacks in Ger­many claimed by the Is­lamic State group since then have also in­creased jit­ters in Europe.

Af­ter the at­tack in Nice, France ex­tended a state of emer­gency giv­ing po­lice ex­tra pow­ers to carry out searches and place peo­ple un­der house ar­rest for an­other six months un­til Jan­uary.

It was the fourth time the se­cu­rity mea­sures have been ex­tended since Is­lamic State ji­hadists struck Paris in Novem­ber, killing 130 peo­ple at restau­rants, a con­cert hall and the national sta­dium. — AFP

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