Two men claiming to be members of Islamic State (IS) have killed an 84-year-old priest in an attack at his church in a suburb of Rouen in northern France.
According to reports, the attackers entered the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during Mass, taking the priest, Father Jacques Hamel, and four other people hostage.
Police suspect the priest's throat was slit.
Both hostage-takers are now dead after a shootout with police.
President Francois Hollande said the men claimed to be from so-called Islamic State (IS).
Speaking in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, he said the attackers had committed a “cowardly assassination” and France would fight IS “by all means”.
Pope Francis decried the “pain and horror of this absurd violence”.
French interior ministry spokesman, Pierre-Henri Brandet, said one of the hostages had been critically wounded.
He said the hostage-takers had been “neutralised” after coming out of the church. Police were now searching the church for explosives.