The French version of the 5th edition of Islamic State’s propaganda magazine Dar al Islam called on followers to target churches, it has emerged. The incitement also includes synagogues.

It said: “Always target busy places, like tourist sites, major squares, synagogues, churches, masonic lodges, political headquarters…the goal is to strike fear into their heart.”

Earlier today two men armed with knives stormed a Catholic church in northern France and slit the throats of a priest and one other person in an Islamist terror attack.

The priest, two nuns and two parishioners were taken captive during morning mass at the church in the small town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near the city of Rouen in Normandy.

The priest, 86-year-old Jacques Hamel, was killed and the second victim is in a critical condition in hospital.

The knifemen got into the building through a back entrance, locked the doors and held five people hostage. The assailants were “neutralised” by police as they came out of the church reportedly shouting “Allahu Akbar”.

Islamic State claimed two of its “soldiers” carried out the deadly assault.