Monday 26 September 2016

Cowardly killers force priest to kneel as they film brutal execution

Ben Farmer and David Chazaon

Published 27/07/2016 | 02:30

A young girls prays near flowers and candles at the town hall in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. Photo: Reuters
A young girls prays near flowers and candles at the town hall in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. Photo: Reuters

Isil began a new front in its war with the West yesterday by murdering a French priest in the first such attack on a Christian church in Europe.

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Two terrorists - one of whom had an electronic tag due to terror links - cut the throat of Fr Jacques Hamel (85) after taking worshippers hostage during Mass at a church in Normandy. They were later shot dead by police.

Experts said the atrocity, in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen, was a departure for the jihadists following attacks on places of worship in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Fr Hamel - forced to kneel by his two killers, who filmed the execution - was last night hailed as a "martyr of faith".

French president Francois Hollande promised to win the war against terrorism.

"To attack a church, kill a priest, is to profane the republic," he said.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny also expressed his condolences.

"For centuries the church has been a place of sanctuary and it's particularly brutal that terror and murder have been visited upon innocent people at a time when they have been so physically vulnerable and so spiritually hopeful," he said.

Irish Independent

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