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France

First charges filed over Normandy church attack

media French authorities filed first charges over the church attack in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. Charly Triballeau/AFP

French authorities filed the first charges on Friday in connection with the jihadist killing of a priest in his church in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

Three days before the attack on Tuesday, authorities found a video showing one of the assailants, Abdel Malik Petitjean, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State armed group and speaking of “a violent action”.

A 19-year-old man was charged with “criminal conspiracy with terrorists” and locked up over the video on a mobile phone police discovered at his home, a judicial source said.

Three other people were still being held by authorities for questioning.

Meanwhile, Muslim and Christian groups will hold vigils on Saturday for Jacques Hamel, the French priest who was murdered by jihadists.

In a bid to forge togetherness between the communities, a regional Muslim council has planned a "brotherhood march" in the southeastern city of Lyon.

A church in Bordeaux said it would hold a non-denominational vigil for the 85-year-old Hamel, who was killed by attackers, as he was celebrating mass in a church in a church.

- with AFP

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