People lay candles and flowers in front of the city hall of the Normandy city of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in tribute to the priest.
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Daesh (ISIS) crossed a new threshold Tuesday in its war against the West, as two of its followers targeted a church in Normandy, slitting the throat of an elderly priest celebrating Mass and using hostages as human shields before being shot by police.It was the extremist group's first attack against a church in the West, and fulfills longstanding threats against "crusaders" in what the militants paint as a centuries-old battle for power. One of the attackers, who grew up in the town, had tried twice to leave for Syria; the second was not identified.Rev. Jacques Hamel was celebrating Mass for three nuns and two parishioners on a quiet morning in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray when the attackers burst in and forced the 85-year-old priest to his knees before slicing his throat, according to authorities and a nun who escaped.Daesh extremists have urged followers to attack French churches and the group is believed to have planned at least one earlier church attack that was foiled when the assailant shot himself in the leg.
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