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'It was terrible,' says nun who escaped France church attack

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 01:07

Sister Danielle, a nun who escaped the church attack in Normandy, describes the moment two assailants linked to Islamic State took hostages and killed a priest. Rough Cut - subtitled (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Sister Danielle, who escaped the scene of an attack in a church in Normandy, told RMC radio on Tuesday (July 26) about what happened when two assailants, loyal to Islamic State, forced an elderly priest to his knees before slitting his throat and taking several worshippers hostage. Police later shot the assailants dead. The knifemen entered the church during morning mass near the northern city of Rouen, northwest of Paris, killing Father Jacques Hamel, an 85-year-old. "They forced him to his knees and he tried to defend himself and that's when the drama began," said Sister Daniel. Police shot the attackers dead as they emerged from the church in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. "I got out fast and he (the attacker) was busy giving him (the priest) the knife so he didn't see me leave," the nun added. It was the latest in a wave of attacks in Europe inspired by the Islamist militant group based in Iraq and Syria that is on the defensive against a U.S.-led military coalition in which France is a major partner. Islamic State has called on its supporters to take action with any available weapons targeting countries it has been fighting. The anti-terrorist unit of the Paris prosecutor's office is investigating the attack. Police said one person had been arrested. Several French media reported that one of the knifemen was a local man who had spent a year in jail on his return from Turkey after being intercepted trying to travel to Syria, but had been freed on bail with an electronic tag pending trial for alleged terrorism offenses. The prosecutor's office said the identification of the two suspects was still underway and it was too early to jump to conclusions about a possible link.

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'It was terrible,' says nun who escaped France church attack

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 01:07