- Title: Church where French priest was killed to reopen in Normandy
- Date: 2nd October 2016
- Summary: MAN WIPING EYES
- Embargoed: 17th October 2016 10:49
- Keywords: church town hall mourning Normandy France Father Jacques Hamel attack Islamic State Rouen Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray priest
- Location: SAINT-ETIENNE-DU-ROUVRAY & ROUEN, FRANCE / INTERNET
- City: SAINT-ETIENNE-DU-ROUVRAY & ROUEN, FRANCE / INTERNET
- Country: France
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA00652B9R2F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, where Catholic priest Father Jacques Hamel was killed by Islamic State militants in July, opened to the public once again on Sunday (October 2) after a procession and mass.
Father Hamel was leading morning mass on July 26 when two assailants loyal to Islamic State interrupted the service, forced the 85-year-old to his knees and slit his throat while chanting in Arabic.
The attackers were later shot and killed by police.
Hamel, who joined the church at St.-Etienne-du-Rouvray in 2000, was remembered by residents as kind and attentive, who kept himself busy despite his age.
Mourners who were unable to enter the Rouen Cathedral when it reached full capacity watched the service for Hamel's funeral in the drizzling rain on a big screen outside. The crowd then broke into applause when the coffin was taken out.
Police identified 19-year-old Adel Kermiche as one of the attackers. He had made failed bids to reach Syria to wage jihad, wore an electronic bracelet and was awaiting trial for alleged membership of a terrorist organisation having been released on bail.
The second attacker was identified as Abdel-Malik Nabil Petitjean, also 19, from a town in eastern France on the border with Germany, a judicial source told Reuters in July.
News agency Amaq, which is affiliated with Islamic State, said two of its "soldiers" had carried out the attack.
The attack came less than two weeks after a Tunisian ploughed a truck into a crowd in the French Riviera city of Nice, killing 84 people, also claimed by Islamic State.
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