2nd French church attacker formally identified – prosecutors

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PARIS: French investigators have formally identified the second jihadist who attacked a church and killed a priest, a young man who was known to authorities after having tried to travel to Syria, a source in the prosecutor’s office said on Thursday. They named him as Abdel Malik Petitjean, 19, who was killed by police in the attack along with Adel Kermiche, also 19, who had been awaiting trial on terror charges and had been fitted with an electronic tag despite calls from the prosecutor for him not to be released. The two men stormed into a church in the northern town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during morning mass Tuesday and slit the 86-year-old priest’s throat at the altar before being gunned down by police. Another man was left seriously injured in a hostage drama, while three nuns and a worshipper escaped unharmed. The two jihadists pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, a video posted on the Islamic State group news agency Amaq showed Wednesday.

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