(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
France will mark on Wednesday the one-year anniversary of the murder of priest Jacques Hamel in a Normandy church, in a commemoration to be attended by President Emmanuel Macron.
On July 26th 2016, Hamel was leading morning mass in the small town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near the northern city of Rouen, when two militants stormed in, forced the 85-year-old to his knees and slit his throat.
The assailants linked to Islamic State took four other people hostage, one of whom was seriously wounded.
Police shot the attackers dead as they emerged from the church with their hostages and raided an apartment to arrest another suspect.
The attack was the first on a church in western Europe. It came just 12 days after a Tunisian who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State drove his truck through a crowd of Bastille Day revelers in Nice city, killing 84 people.
Islamist militants have killed more than 200 people in France since January 2015.