Two men armed with knives took several hostages in a church outside Rouen in northern France. The church is located in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.
A priest, two nuns and two churchgoers were taken hostage. It is still not known who the men are, or the motive behind the attack.
According to the French newspaper Le Parisien, two hostages and both hostage takers have been killed. A priest was, according to French media, killed in a brutal manner before police struck inside the church.
An unknown number of people are injured in the incident, according to the radio station RTL. Le Figaro writes that a nun managed to escape, and then alerted the police, who arrived at the scene shortly after.
The men were armed with knives, and came into the church from the back, while the church morning service was in progress.
Special forces from BRI shot both hostage takers. The force specializes in hostage situations and was partly involved when police stormed the concert venue Bataclan during the terrorist attack in Paris in November 2015.
The men were terrorists from ISIS, writes British media. They shouted "Allahu Akbar" and cut the priest's throat before being "neutralised," police said.
The hour-long stand-off was ended when the knifemen were shot.
It has since emerged that the church was one of a number of Catholic churches on an ISIS hit list.
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