French ministry: 16-year-old released, not involved in church attack

A 16-year-old boy taken into police custody on suspicion of involvement in a terrorist attack that left a priest dead in northern France has been released after authorities determined he was not involved, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

The Algerian-born boy, whose older brother was the subject of an arrest warrant for travelling to the Iraq-Syria region under a false identity, should continue to exercise caution, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told Europe 1 Radio.

"We will know more in the next few hours," Cazeneuve said.

The boy was taken into custody on Tuesday after two self-declared terrorists took hostages in a church in Upper Normandy as Mass was being said and murdered an 86-year-old priest before being killed by police.

One of the two attackers has been identified as Adel Kermiche. The boy's brother - who has not been named as a suspect in the attack - had tried to travel on Kermiche's papers in 2015, but was stopped.

Kermiche, 19, a French citizen, had been under electronic surveillance after also trying to travel to Syria twice.

The identity of the second attacker is still not known, Cazeneuve said.

The Islamic State extremist militia claimed the two attackers as its "soldiers" after the attack.

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