Two attackers are dead after killing a Catholic priest during morning Mass in France on Tuesday, July 26, police confirm to the Associated Press.
The incident took place near the Normandy city of Rouen. Per the AP, the assailants rushed a church and slit the throat of the 84-year-old priest, Father Jacques Hamel. They took other hostages, including a nun, before being killed by authorities. One other person was reportedly wounded.
"The investigations are ongoing. There are still unknowns," Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said in a statement, via the AP. "There are dogs, explosive detectors and bomb-disposal services, and as long as there are still unknowns, the judicial police cannot get inside the site. It's a dramatic situation."
The identities of the perpetrators have yet to be released. According to Reuters, the attackers were Islamic State soldiers. Terrorism investigators are currently at the scene.
"[ISIS] has declared war on us," French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday. "We must fight this war by all means, while respecting the rule of law — what makes us a democracy." According to the AP, one attacker was followed by police for more than a year.
France has been on high alert since the attack in Nice earlier this month. On July 15, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, killed more than 80 people and wounded more than 200 others when he plowed over them with a truck as they celebrated Bastille Day in the streets.
President Barack Obama released a statement following the tragedy. "We have offered any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice," he wrote at the time. "We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack."
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