The United States condemned Tuesday’s terrorist attack at a Catholic church in Normandy, France.
As reported by various media, two men who claimed allegiance to Islamic State attacked a morning mass at around 9:45 am local time in the town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. The attackers initially took four hostages and stabbed and killed the elderly priest, Rev. Jacques Hamel, who was officiating the mass.
Both of the terrorists were killed by police as they were leaving the church by French Special Forces, with one of the terrorists, Adel Kermiche, 19, being identified by his fingerprints.
“We offer our condolences to the family and friends of the murdered priest, Father Jacques Hamel. Our thoughts and prayers are with the other victims of the attack as well as the parishioners and community members of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray,” said US NSC spokesperson Ned Price in a statement.
According to Price, “France and the United States share a commitment to protecting religious liberty for those of all faiths, and today’s violence will not shake that commitment. We commend French law enforcement for their quick and decisive response and stand ready to assist the French authorities in their investigation going forward.”
Following the slaying of Fr. Hamel, French bishops have designated Friday, July 29, as a day of fasting.
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