Early Tuesday, a gruesome attack took place near the city of Rouen in the Normandy region of France, as attackers entered a small Catholic church during mass and took five people hostage in the latest deadly attack to shake up the country of France.
According to reports, the hostages were made up of two nuns, two patrons, and an 84-year old priest, Jacques Hamel who was killed after attackers fatally slit his throat. According to French Interior Ministry spokesperson Pierre-Henry Brandet, another victim is in critical condition “between life and death”.
The whole ordeal only ended when the attackers were shot and killed by police outside of the church.
This horrific act of violence is only the latest in a recent slew killing across Western Europe, and more specifically, France who, less than two weeks ago, was hit by a deadly terror attack in the city of Nice that claimed 84 lives.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for many of the attacks, and according to French President Francois Hollande, Tuesday’s was also carried out “in the name of Daesh”, another name for ISIS.
The Vatican’s spokesperson Rev. Federico Lombardi condemned the “barbarous killing”, citing that Pope Francis was shocked by “the pain and horror of this absurd violence” and that he too “condemned, in the most radical way, any form of hate.”
Brandet says that the attack is “obviously a drama for the Catholic community, for the Christian community.”
France has been in an extended state of emergency since November, following terror attacks, and following today’s vicious act of hate, it will likely remain in this state for a while.