France commemorates priest murdered by terrorists in 2016 attack

Paris, July 26, (dpa/GNA) - France commemorated Jacques Hamel on Monday, the fifth anniversary of the Islamist attack that took the priest's life.

The terrorists struck at the soul of France and all French people in the attack on the church, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said at a memorial service in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray on Monday.

Prime Minister Jean Castex wrote on Twitter that the nation was pausing in remembrance on the anniversary.

Two attackers took hostages during morning Mass in a Catholic church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen on July 26, 2016, before murdering the 85-year-old priest.

Both attackers were apprehended by the police.

The terrorist militia Islamic State claimed responsibility for the crime. France has been shaken by Islamist terror for years. More than 250 people have been killed.