Attackers Who Killed Priest at Church in France ‘Claimed Allegiance to ISIS,’ Hollande Says
WATCH: One Killed in French Hostage Attack
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The attackers who killed a priest at a church in France this morning were “terrorists who claimed allegiance to ISIS,” French President Francois Hollande said.
ISIS’s “news agency” Amaq said the attack was carried about by “soldiers of the Islamic State” and that the attack was “in response to calls for attacks on the Crusader alliance.”
Hollande said the terrorists want to “divide us” and said the attack targeted not just Catholics but all of France. Hollande said the terrorists will stop at nothing, adding, “We must rage war against Daesh (ISIS).”
One person was detained for questioning in connection with the attack, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor said.
A French anti-terror prosecutor is opening an investigation.
The attack began when two men armed with knives entered a church in the city of Rouen — about 80 miles outside of Paris — during morning mass and took five people hostage, including a nun and parishioners.
A priest was killed and one person was seriously injured, said the Ministry of Interior.
The priest was identified by the archbishop as Jacques Hamel.
Both attackers were killed outside the church, said a spokesperson for the French interior minister.
The mayor’s office in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray said the church had not received specific threats.
The Vatican called the situation an act of “absurd violence” and said that Pope Francis strongly condemned “every form of hate” and “prayed” for the victims affected.
Hollande said he spoke to the family of the priest who was killed. He also praised the police for their quick response, which he said saved lives.
ABC News’ Louise Dewast, Kirit Radia and Hugo Leenhardt contributed to this report.