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Two men, armed with knives, who had reportedly taken several people hostage in a church in France, were soon "neutralised" on Tuesday. However, one of the hostages, a priest, was also killed in the incident that took place in Rouen in northern France.

It may be noted here that the police had said several people had been injured in the attack. French President Francois Hollande said the terrorists had claimed to be from the Islamic State group, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil). The identities of the hostage-takers have not been revealed.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis is said to have expressed his shock and horror at this attack. "The pope... participates in the pain and horror of this absurd violence," a Vatican spokesman said. 

U.S. Congressman from Florida, Vern Buchanan, said in light of the attack: "It's been five months since Congress declared, with my strong support, that the extermination of Christians by Isis constituted genocide. We need a stronger, more coherent plan from the administration on how to destroy the Islamic State and prevent such atrocities. Isis must be destroyed."

The hostages were said to have included a priest and two nuns, who are part of the Church of the Gambetta. The total number of people taken hostage by in the church around at around 9:45 a.m. local time varied from four to six, depending on reports.

The police had arrived at the scene, in the Haute-Normandie region of France, soon after it was reported. They had immediately restricted public access to the area, cordoning it off. 

The attack comes even as France is on high alert following a man ramming his vehicle into many people during the Bastille Day Parade in Nice on France's National Day, an incident that had left more than 80 people dead. 

Isis had claimed responsibility for the attack. France subsequently increased the duration of its state of emergency by three months. 

The state of emergency had been in place ever since a series of bombings in Paris had led to the deaths of 120 people. That terror attack had also been carried out by Isis. 

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