Two hostage-takers armed with knives were killed in France early Tuesday after they captured several people during Mass in a church in the small town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy.
Police told Reuters that one civilian was killed—an 86-year-old priest who is reported to have had his throat slit. A second victim is said to be “fighting for life.” The hostages included two nuns, two worshippers, and a priest, according to reports. Police shot and killed both assailants. In a statement, the Vatican called the priest’s death a “barbarous killing.”
Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said that anti-terrorism investigators were brought onto the case. Though the identities of the attackers and their motive were still unclear, French President François Hollande arrived at the scene in Normandy and told reporters, “We are faced with a group which has declared war.”