This picture obtained on the website of the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray parish on July 26, 2016 shows late priest Jacques Hamel celebrating a mass on June 11, 2016 in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy © HO / AFP
Social media users, including clergymen, are taking to Twitter to pray for the Catholic priest killed in a suspected terror attack in northern France Tuesday.
The hashtag #JeSuisPrêtre (I am priest) is being used to condemn the ongoing violence and pay respect to the priest who reportedly had his throat slit by two men who held five hostages in a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.
Fellow clergymen have also paid respect to the 84-year-old priest, Father Jacques Hamel, murdered in the attack.
This priest based in Paris, urged people to pray for the victims and killer and not seek vengeance.
Father Hamel’s death was confirmed by the Archbishop of Rouen, Dominique Lebrun, in a statement as he urged people to pray for the victims and “not give into violence”.
Father Hamel has been described by members of the community as a warm and peaceful man.
Claude-Albert Seguin, a 68-year-old pensioner, told The Associated Press that “everyone knew him very well. He was very loved in the community and a kind man.''
Mohammed Karabila, president of the Regional Muslim Council of Normandy, told The Local he was “distressed at the death of his friend.”
“Our religious communities always worked together,” he said. “For the past 18 months, and the beginning of the attacks in France, we had meetings in the interfaith committee, and we communicated a lot.”
Father Hamel was awarded a Golden Jubilee for serving 50 years in the priesthood in 2008. At the time of the attack, he had been filling in for another priest, Auguste Moanda-Phuati, who has been the parish priest for the past five years.
"I could not possibly imagine that such a thing would happen to us," Moanda-Phuati said.
The two assailants were shot dead by police and another hostage is reported to be in a serious condition.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls took to Twitter to brand the attack as "barbaric", saying the Catholic community and France as a whole is hurting.
President François Hollande has confirmed the incident as a terror attack at a press conference in Seine Maritime.
"We are facing a group - Daesh [IS] - who have declared war and we have to fight this war using all means possible,” he said.
IS, themselves, have also claimed responsibility for the attack.
String of attacks
The Ansbach bombing is the fourth attack in southern Germany -- and the third in the state of Bavaria -- in recent days, which also came on the heels of the Bastille Day ISIS attack in Nice, France, that killed 84 people.
A police officer stands guard in Ansbach.
Speaking at a press conference Monday, Hermann acknowledged it had been a "very terrible week" in Bavaria.
"Yes, this was also for me personally a very terrible week, as I think it was for most of the people in Bavaria. The attack last Monday on the train in Wurzburg, then the rampage ... in Munich Friday night, and now again an attack."
The stabbing attack in Wurzburg, which authorities said appeared motivated by ISIS propaganda, has left four people hospitalized, including one in an induced coma, medical officials said.
The Munich shooting spree was carried out by an 18-year-old German-Iranian with dual nationality, who killed nine people before killing himself in a shopping district.
Police said the gunman was a mentally troubled individual who was obsessed with mass shootings and may have planned the attack for a year. Authorities have not found a link to terror groups.
And on Sunday, hours before the Ansbach attack, a 21-year-old Syrian refugee killed a Polish woman with a machete in the city of Reutlingen.
Germans were shocked by sexual assaults of women blamed on immigrants at New Year's Eve festivities in Cologne and other cities, and three Syrian men were arrested last month on suspicions they were planning to carry out a mass casualty attack in Dusseldorf.