PARIS – The Latest on the hostage-taking in the French region of Normandy. (all times local):
Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen has confirmed the identity of the priest who was slain by two attackers at a church in northwest France.
He says 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel was killed Tuesday. Police say two attackers entered his church in the small Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, slit his throat and took hostages before being shot dead by police.
In a statement from Krakow, Poland, where Pope Francis was visiting, Lebrun says "I cry out to God, with all men of good will. And I invite all non-believers to unite with this cry ... The Catholic Church has no other arms besides prayer and fraternity between men."
Two attackers seized hostages Tuesday in a church near the Normandy city of Rouen, killing a priest by slitting his throat before being shot and killed by police, French officials said.
Another person inside the church was seriously injured and is hovering between life and death, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.
Police managed to rescue three people from the church in the small northwestern town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Brandet said. The hostage-taking occurred during morning Mass, he told reporters.
The identities of the attackers and motive for the attack are unclear, according to a security official, who was not authorized to be publicly named.
French President Francois Hollande and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve were heading to the town.
Brandet, speaking on BFM TV, said the RAID special intervention force was searching the church and its perimeter for possible explosives and terrorism investigators had been summoned.