Hollande vows to fight Isis threat following church attack

Hollande called the terror attack a cowardly assassination, saying that France needs to fight back.

French president Francois Hollande. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - French President Fran├žois Hollande has called a terror attack on a church, in which a priest was killed, a cowardly assassination.

Two knife-wielding terrorists stormed the church in Normandy yesterday and held three nuns and two worshippers hostage.

Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack.

As the attackers came out of the church shouting "Allahu akbar" ("God is Greatest") they were shot and killed by police.

Pope Francis has joined the chorus of condemnation, calling the attack "barbaric".

Hollande says France will fight against the threat of Isis.

"The Daesh has declared war on us and we must fight it by all means while respecting the rule of law which makes us a democracy."

France's anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins identified one of the attackers as 19-year-old Adel Kermiche, a local man who was known to intelligence services after his failed bids to reach Syria to wage jihad.

Additional reporting by Reuters.