Paris: The latest terror attack where two Islamic State militants stormed a church and killed an 84-year-old priest in Normandy, France, on Tuesday, has rattled the nerves of millions in the Europe and beyond, reinforcing the impression that the region was in the cross hair of terrorists.
The police unit specialising in hostage situations responded quickly after receiving a call from an escaped nun.
The terrorists were gunned down by the police as they tried to flee the church, Xinhua news agency reported.
Despite low number of casualties, the attack still shocked France and the Europe as it hit a small town far from bustling cities like Paris and Nice, prompting fears that terrorists have managed to penetrate deeper into the region.
One of the attackers was identified as 19-year-old Adel Karmic, arrested twice in 2015 for trying to travel to Syria using false identity card, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said.
Afterward, he was under house arrest and made to wear an electronic tag allowing the police to trace him. However, the device was deactivated for a few hours every morning, Molins said.
The identification of the second attacker was not known yet, the prosecutor said.
President Francois Hollande rushed to the scene shortly after the incident. He condemned the attack as a "heinous crime" and pledged to use all means in the war against terrorism.
Hollande also called for national unity, saying what these terrorists want was to divide the nation.
The President earlier this month announced that he would send artillery to Iraq to reinforce local forces battling the IS.