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France: Syrian asylum seeker arrested in connection with Normandy church attack


French police have arrested a Syrian asylum seeker regarding the recent attack on a church in Normandy. As the scrutiny widens, the two knife-wielding attackers who were identified as Adel Kermiche and Abdel-Malik Nabir Petitjean, who broke into the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray church in Normandy, France and killed a priest held many hostage on July 26.

Church attacked in France

French media reported that the two teenage attackers were chanting in Arabic while they were slitting the throat of Father Jacques Hamel. Police revealed a Syrian asylum seeker was arrested near a refugee center where one of the Abdel-Malik Nabir Petitjean lived for four years until 2012.

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In addition to the Syrian two other individuals are being interrogated under suspected ties to the attackers. A day after the attack, Islamic State released videos in which the two young men pledged loyalty to the terrorist group before carrying out the attack, which killed the Rev. Jacques Hamel.

The country is reeling from two terror strikes in the space of 12 days. The killing of the priest has provoked worldwide condemnation. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls admitted that French justice system has failed in connection with the killing of a priest in a church in Normandy. “This does not mean that my government is to blame, because that decision was taken by independent judges.”