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Armed men shot dead after taking hostages at French church

The scene outside a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray where a hostage situation took place Tuesday morning. (CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)


Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 6:42 AM

French authorities fatally shot two knife-wielding men who slit a hostage’s throat at a northern France church Tuesday morning, officials said.

The assailants stormed the church the Normandy city of Rouen through a back door and took several parishioners hostage along with a priest during a 10 a.m. church service, according to the Paris Normandie newspaper

One of the hostages was critically wounded in the assault 77 miles north of Paris and another was killed, police officials said. The slain victim was identified by a police source as the cleric, Agence France-Presse reported.

The deadly takeover lasted for about an hour before police shot and killed the attackers.

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President Francois Hollande arrived at the church soon after the siege ended.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls addressed the violent takeover, describing the incident as a “barbaric attack.” 

“All of France and all Catholics are bruised,” Valls tweeted.

The motive in not yet known, but it follows months of attacks in Europe.

On July 14, a terrorist mowed down and killed 84 people with a large truck as they celebrated Bastille Day in the Mediterranean city of Nice.

With News Wire Services 

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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