Two knifemen entered a church in a suburb of Rouen in Northern France, killing an 86 year old priest and taking 4 others hostage during morning Mass on Tuesday.
The two attackers claim to be associated with the Islamic State and one attacker has been monitored by police for over a year, according to the Associated Press. Both men were shot dead by police after the attack.
The knifemen slit Fr Jacques Hamel’s throat and took two nuns and two parishioners hostage, according to the Guardian. Three hostages were released, while one remains in critical condition and is "between life and death,” French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.
“The Catholic Church has only prayer and brotherhood among men as its weapons,” Archbishop Lebrun said, according to New York Times. “I leave here hundreds of young people who are truly the future of humanity. I ask them not to give in to the violence, and to become apostles of the civilization of love.”
France has been under a state of emergency since the Paris attacks in November of last year that left 130 dead and hundreds wounded. The knife attack on Tuesday is one in a series of terrorist attacks that have taken place in France and comes less than two weeks after the Bastille Day attack in Nice.