Two knifemen ‘take hostages at church in Normandy’ – knifemen now dead

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An update from the BBC

Two armed men who took hostages at a church near Rouen in northern France are now dead, police sources have said. France 3 television said a number of shots had been heard. Police and the emergency services are at the scene.

Unconfirmed reports in Le Figaro newspaper say the priest was killed after having his throat cut.

From the French edition of The Local 

Two men armed with knives have taken hostages at a church in Normandy, northern France according to reports. Their motives remain unknown.

The hostage situation was reportedly underway at a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen in the département of Seine-Maritime

Specialist elite police units are on the scene and a security cordon has been set up around the church.

It is believed a priest, two nuns and two worshippers were taken hostage by the two men who entered the church via a rear door, reports said.

It is unclear at this stage what their motives are. I suppose it could be a local protest, or migrants rights, or something in the anti-clerical tradition. But these are less common reasons in the current climate. 

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