Paris (AP) — 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 said the attack near the Normandy city of Rouen was carried out by “two soldiers of the Islamic State.”
It added the attack was in response to its calls to target countries of the U.S.-led coalition which is fighting IS.
Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen has confirmed the identity of the priest who was slain by two attackers at a church in northwest France.
He says 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel was killed Tuesday. Police say two attackers entered his church in the small Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, slit his throat and took hostages before being shot dead by police.
In a statement from Krakow, Poland, where Pope Francis was visiting, Lebrun says “I cry out to God, with all men of good will. And I invite all non-believers to unite with this cry … The Catholic Church has no other arms besides prayer and fraternity between men.”
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