Second suspect identified in killing of French priest; Islamic State claims responsibility

SAINT-ETIENNE-DU-ROUVRAY , France, July 28 (UPI) — The second suspect in the killing of a priest in a French church was identified as Abdel-Malik Nabil Petijean, Paris prosecutors said Thursday.

Petitjean, 19, a French citizen, was sought as a terror threat after he recently left his Aix-les-Baines home in eastern France. He and Adel Kermiche, 19, were shot to death by police Tuesday as they left a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, in northwestern France.

They cut the throat of a Catholic priest celebrating a Mass after taking him, three nuns and two parishioners hostage in the small town in Normandy. The Islamic State later released a video of the two men allegedly pledging allegiance to the terror organization.

Petitjean had been on a French terror watch list as a potential security threat. He allegedly attempted to enter Syria, through Turkey, in June. His body was severely disfigured in the police shooting, but police found his identification card in Kermiche’s residence and confirmed his identity through DNA analysis.

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