Spain: Dead after machete attack in churches

One person was killed in an attack with a machete in southern Spain - several people were injured. The alleged perpetrator is also said to have broken into at least two churches.

A churchman was killed in a machete attack in Algeciras, southern Spain. The alleged perpetrator injured four other people, including a priest, in at least two churches, reported the state television broadcaster RTVE and other Spanish media, citing the police.

The sacristan’s body was reportedly found in a public square in front of a church in the Andalusian city. According to the Interior Ministry, the suspected attacker was arrested. He is now in the custody of the National Police.

Arrested by police

An investigating judge opened an investigation into a possible act of terrorism. The suspect is a 25-year-old Moroccan. According to eyewitnesses, the man broke into the church of San Isidro shouting “for Allah” and urging people to profess Islam, the newspaper “” reported. He injured the priest who was present with the machete.

Three women were able to escape from the church and alerted the police from a nearby barber shop. According to the report, the perpetrator then ran to the La Palma church, just 200 meters away, where he threatened clergy. The altar boy there opposed him and followed him to the street, where the attacker fatally injured him, “” continued. Shortly thereafter, the alleged perpetrator was arrested by the police.

The regional head of government of the autonomous community of Andalusia, Juanma Moreno, condemned the crime on Twitter, but at the same time called for prudence while “the facts are being examined”. He assured that “intolerance will never have a place in our society”.

Sanchez condoles

The Secretary General of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, Francisco García, wrote on Twitter that he was deeply saddened by the news of the Algeciras incident. “These are sad moments of suffering, we are united by the pain of the families of the victims and the Diocese of Cadiz”. The city hall in Andalusia ordered a one-day mourning, with flags to be flown at half-mast. “We are all stunned by these acts that have filled us with sorrow,” said Mayor José Landaluce. “Algeciras has always been a city where harmony and tolerance reign, despite incidents like these that create an image that does not correspond to reality.”

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez also offered his condolences. Sending his sincere condolences to the families of the acolyte who was killed in the attack in Algeciras, Sánchez tweeted. He wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Algeciras is near the southern tip of Spain and faces a bay from Gibraltar. The city has an important port with ferry connections to North Africa.

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