World

ISIS releases video of alleged killers of French priest pledging allegiance

Islamic State's news agency on Wednesday posted a video of two men it said were those who attacked a church in France in which they pledged allegiance to the group's leader.

French authorities have officially ID'd

A wreath of flowers from Muslim of France Associations is placed with flowers next to the church where an hostage taking left a priest dead the day before in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, in Normandy on Wednesday. (Francois Mori/The Associated Press)

Islamic State's news agency on Wednesday posted a video of two men it said were those who attacked a church in France in which they pledged allegiance to the group's leader.

The video was posted by Amaq news agency a day after two men burst into the Catholic church in Normandy during a service, forced the priest to his knees and slit his throat.

The two men who identified themselves as Abu Omar and Abu Jalil el-Hanafy appeared in the one-minute video sitting on a staircase pledging loyalty to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State's leader.

One of the two attackers has been named as 19-year-old Adel Kermiche, who was under close surveillance after two failed attempts to reach Syria last year, France's anti-terrorism prosecutor said on Wednesday.

The second attacker remains unidentified. Police shot and killed both assailants as they emerged from the church.

Pope Francis was asked early Wednesday about the public slaying of Rev. Jacques Hamel en route from Rome to Poland, where he began a five-day visit.

Francis replied: "the real word is war...yes, it's war. This holy priest died at the very moment he was offering a prayer for all the church."

Pope Francis added: "I only want to clarify, when I speak of war, I am really speaking of war ... a war of interests, for money, resources. ... I am not speaking of a war of religions, religions don't want war. The others want war."

With files from The Associated Press

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