France has again been plunged into shock after two men, claiming allegiance to Islamic State, slit the throat of a priest as he was celebrating mass in a Normandy church.
According to The Guardian a nun who witnessed the murder described how the men forced Father Jacques Hamel to his knees before killing him. They also tried to cut the throat of a parishioner, leaving him for dead all while filming themselves preaching in Arabic by the altar.
Sister Danielle fled as they killed Hamel, 86. “Everyone was shouting ‘stop, stop you don’t know what you’re doing’. They forced him to his knees; he wanted to defend himself and that’s when the drama began,” she said.
The two men, who had taken hostage two nuns, two parishioners and Father Hamel, were shot dead by police as they came out of the church.
French president François Hollande described it as an act of terrorism carried out by two followers of Islamic State.
Paris prosecutor François Molins said one of the attackers had been identified as Adel Kermiche, 19, who had tried several times to travel to Syria using the passports of family members.