Two unidentified militants held a French church under hostage today, July 26th, 2016. Victims of the attack included the church’s priest and a nun who was severely injured. The French police quickly took control of the situation and shot the assailants dead.
French newspaper, Le Figaro, reported that the 86-year old priest, Jacques Hamel’s throat was slit by one of the attackers. He, along with two worshippers and two nuns were in the middle of mass, when the assailants stormed in from the church’s rear door and took them hostage. One nun quietly escaped and successfully managed to raise an alarm.
The elite BRI Force and emergency help was instantly dispatched to the scene, where negotiators were brought in to speak to the attackers. They were then shot by the police forces, when they came out of the church, armed. A bomb-squad, with sniffer dogs, were also brought to the scene to search for explosives.
The attackers’ intention is unclear as of now; it has however been claimed by the Islamic State, or ISIS. Paris’ anti-terrorism unit has taken over the case for further investigation. French President, Francois Hollande, arrived on scene and expressed his contempt over the dismal situation, stating that it was a “vile terrorist attack”. It was called “barbaric” by Manuel Valls, French Prime Minister, who promised that France would stand together.
This attack comes less than two weeks after the horrific Bastille Day attack in Nice, where Islamic State militants drove a truck through a parade, killing 84 civilians. Europe is under high alert at this moment after continuous terrorist attacks taking place across several cities, leaving behind high casualty numbers.