Washington: The United States condemned an apparent jihadist attack at a church in France Tuesday in which two assailants took hostages and slit a priest's throat before being killed by police.
"The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrific terrorist attack today at a Catholic church in Normandy, France," US National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
French police are seen at the scene during a raid after a hostage-taking in the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. Reuters
"We commend French law enforcement for their quick and decisive response and stand ready to assist the French authorities in their investigation going forward."
The Islamic State group said the attack in a centuries old church in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray was carried out by two of its "soldiers."
It came less than two weeks after a man in a truck mowed down pedestrians in the French Riviera city of Nice, killing 84 people. That attack also was claimed by IS.
"France and the United States share a commitment to protecting religious liberty for those of all faiths, and today's violence will not shake that commitment," Price said.