Five people including the 84-year-old priest, two nuns and two parishioners were held by assailants who raided the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen in Normandy at 9am. The clergyman, named as Jacques Hamel (right), is believed to have been beheaded during the attack while another hostage is fighting for life in hospital. The two attackers were ‘neutralised’ by marksmen as they emerged from the building, which is now being searched for explosives. French president Francois Hollande said the men ‘claimed to be from’ ISIS while the terror group has claimed responsibility for the killing through its news agency. There were reports the attackers shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as they ran out of the church while at least one of the men was dressed in Islamic clothing. It comes as it emerged that the building was one of a number of Catholic churches on a terrorist ‘hit list’ found on a suspected ISIS extremist last April. There are also reports that one of the attackers was a local resident who was under electronic tag surveillance having been jailed in France for trying to travel to Syria in 2015. His bail terms allowed him to be unsupervised between 8.30am and 12.30pm – the attack happened between 9am and 11am.
They filmed the murder and beheading.