Hostage crisis in France’s northern region of Normandy

Church attacker was under French police surveillance

One of the attackers in the recent church attack in France was under close police surveillance following two failed attempts to join Daesh in Syria, says France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor.

On Tuesday, 19-year-old Adel Kermiche and an unnamed second attacker were killed by security forces following their exit from a church in Normandy after killing a priest and taking several hostages. After the incident, the Amaq news agency, which is affiliated to the Takfiri terrorist group, announced that two of its members had launched the attack.

Kermiche was in prison since May 2015 when he was detained for trying to reach Syria, but was released in March despite rejection by Paris prosecutors, said Francois Molins.

After his release, he was forced to wear an electronic tag in order to be tracked by the police and was only allowed limited hours outside his home.

In March 2015, Kermiche first tried to travel to Syria with his brother’s identification card, but was halted by police in Germany after his family notified authorities of his disappearance.

Following the church incident, French President Francois Hollande released a statement condemning it as a “vile terrorist attack” which was carried out by Daesh.

Archbishop of Rouen Dominique Lebrun (L) leaves after a meeting with French President Francois Hollande on July 26, 2016 at the Elysee Palace in Paris, after a priest was killed on Tuesday in the Normandy city of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. (AFP)

“Daesh has declared war on us, we must fight this war by all means, while respecting the rule of law, what makes us a democracy,” he later told reporters.

The incident comes as France is still reeling from the Bastille Day massacre that claimed 84 lives in the city of Nice earlier this month.

Police officers stand guard on July 26, 2016 near a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, where a priest was killed on Tuesday in the latest of a string of attacks claimed by Daesh. (AFP)

A state of emergency has been in place in the country since last November, when assailants struck at least six different venues in and around the capital, Paris, leaving 130 people dead and over 350 others injured.

Both of the attacks in Nice and Paris were claimed by the Daesh terror group.

The Paris government is under fire for what is said to be security failings. It stands accused of not doing enough to protect the population.

By Press TV