French police elite unit this morning reportedly neutralised two armed men who were holding hostages in a church in Sainte-Etienne-du-Rouvray, the Agence France Presse (AFP) reports.

AFP reported that police stationed outside the church building were already getting set for a standoff with the assailants when the elite unit was dispatched and they quickly neutralised the two assailants.

A police source also told Reuters that the two assailants were armed with knives. Though AFP confirmed the assailants had been neutralised, it is still unclear  whether they had been taken into custody or killed by French security units.

The hostages held by the assailants were reported to be up to five. They included a priest and two sisters, as well as churchgoers.

Though details of the situation are still sketchy, a France television station said a number of shots were heard. Firefighters who were also on the scene reported that several people had been injured. Police and emergency services are equally at the scene.

As the situation is being figured out by security agencies, unconfirmed reports said the priest had been killed and the fate of the assailants unknown.

Author: Ope Adedeji