A churchman was killed in a machete attack in Algeciras, southern Spain. According to media reports, the alleged perpetrator injured four other people, including a priest, in at least two churches on Wednesday evening. He was later arrested. The public prosecutor’s office has now initiated a preliminary investigation into suspected terrorism.
The sacristan’s body was reportedly found in a public square in front of a church in the city of Andalusia. The suspect is a 25-year-old Moroccan. Three women alerted the police. According to eyewitnesses, the man broke into the San Isidro church shouting “for Allah” and asked people to profess Islam, like the newspaper elDiario.es reported. He injured the priest who was present with the machete. Three women could have escaped from the church and alerted the police from a nearby barber shop. The perpetrator was not known to the police. 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, “elDiario.es” continued. Shortly thereafter, the alleged perpetrator was arrested by the police. He said he had no criminal record or was otherwise known to the police. The regional head of government for 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 investigated”. He asserted that “intolerance will never have a place in our society”. The mayor of Algeciras, José Ignacio Landaluce, expressed shock at the incident and ordered a day of mourning in the city.