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Two men armed with knives take several hostage in French church

Two men armed with knives have been shot dead by police after taking several people hostage in a church in France.

Between four and six people were being held by the assailants in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near the city of Rouen in Normandy.

A priest, two nuns from a local order and two churchgoers were among those held after the men rushed into the church during a morning service, soon after 9am.

Footage from the scene shows emergency crews, including elite police squads, arriving at the scene and one person being stretchered into an ambulance.

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‘Two men armed with knives entered the church by the back entrance, and have taken five hostages,’ said a local police source.

The source said a third third nun had escaped and raised the alarm.

Shots were fired a few minutes later by BRI police and, according to local police sources, ‘both men have now been neutralised’.

UPDATE: They hostage takers have being shot dead by police

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