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One Dead in Machete Attack on Spain Churches

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One Dead in Machete Attack on Spain Churches

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A church official was killed and a priest severely wounded late Wednesday when a person wielding a machete stormed two church buildings in southern Spain, the federal government mentioned.

Prosecutors instantly opened a terror probe into the assault, which came about in the port metropolis of Algeciras in Spain’s southern Andalusia area.

“Just after 7:00 pm (1800 GMT) this night, a person entered the church of San Isidro in Algeciras, the place, armed with a machete, he attacked the priest, leaving him severely wounded,” an interior ministry statement said.

“Subsequently, he entered the church of Nuestra Senora de La Palma in which, after causing damages, he attacked the verger. The verger managed to get out of the church but was caught by the attacker outside and sustained mortal injuries,” it mentioned, indicating he had died on the spot.

“Moments later, (the assailant) was disarmed and arrested and is at present in police custody.”

The two churches are several hundred metres apart and located in an area very close to the port.

Police initially said several people had been wounded but later clarified it was only the priest, with the emergency services confirming he had sustained injuries “to the neck”.

The mayor of Algeciras mentioned the verger who died was referred to as Diego Valencia and recognized the priest as Antonio Rodriguez.

In a posting on Twitter, the native congregation mentioned Rodriguez, 74, had been celebrating the Eucharist at San Isidro church when he was attacked, describing his situation as “severe however steady”.

Attacker shouted, threw icons

A police source told AFP the assailant was wearing a long robe and had “shouted something” as he carried out the assault.

Eyewitnesses at Nuestra Senora de La Palma advised native media {that a} man bumped into the constructing at round 7:30 pm simply as they had been ending the Eucharist service. They mentioned he was shouting and had began to throw icons, crosses and candles to the ground.

Prosecutors opened a terror probe which is being led by a choose from the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s high felony court docket which handles terror-related instances.

Police didn’t determine the suspect however launched a video in which he’s seen from behind carrying a black, white and gray hoodie and black trousers and being led away, handcuffed, by two law enforcement officials.

Algeciras city corridor mentioned it will maintain an official day of mourning on Thursday when flags can be lowered to half-mast. An illustration would happen at noon to specific outrage on the bloodshed.

The assault drew swift condemnation from throughout the political spectrum.

‘Reprehensible acts’

“I ship my deepest condolences to the households of the verger who die in this horrible assault,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote on Twitter, wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.

Opposition leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo of the right-wing Popular Party said he was “appalled” by the incident.

Police haven’t commented on the doable motives, or political and non secular affiliation of the attacker.

However, the incident was denounced by the native Muslim group, which mentioned it condemned “the brutal and cruel assault in Algeciras” and deplored the verger’s death.

“These criminal acts, which some want to link to Islam or Muslims, tarnish the coexistence that society in Algeciras has historically enjoyed,” it mentioned in a posting on the Facebook account of Ishbilia mosque in Seville, the regional capital.

“These reprehensible acts are removed from our faith and the Muslim group.”

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(This story has not been edited by News18 employees and is printed from a syndicated information company feed)

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