Police have shot dead two men who took a priest and several others hostage at knifepoint at a church in north-western France. 

The men shouted “Daesh” and cut the priest’s throat before being “neutralised,” police said.

Le Figaro newspaper reported that the priest died after his throat was cut.

The men’s motives are still unknown. Elite police units rushed to the church in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du Rouvray after the men seized a number of people including a priest and two nuns.

It remains unclear whether the hostage takers were killed in the police action.

A police source told AFP that one of the hostages has been killed.

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