PARIS -- Two men took several people hostage in a church in a town in France's northern Normandy region on Tuesday, a police source told Reuters news agency. The men were reportedly armed with knives.
The assailants were later shot and killed by police, according to a French official, and local media reports said one hostage, a priest, had his throat cut and did not survive the attack.
According to Le Parisien newspaper, the two hostage-takers entered the church during through the back as a service was ongoing. Then they closed the doors.
The French official, who was not authorized to be publicly named, said that Interior Minister Bernard Cazenevue was on his was to the town of Saint-Etienne-en-Rouvray where the hostage-taking took place. Reuters reported that French President Francois Hollande was also on his way to the site of the attack.
The official said the identities of the attackers and motive for the attack were unclear.
Local television channel BFM TV reported that a priest, two nuns, and two parishioners had been held.
The incident comes as France was under high alert after an attack in Nice that killed 84 people and a string of deadly attacks last year claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.