An armed attacker killed an acolyte with a machete and injured four people in two Spanish churches. A priest was among the injured, the state television station RTVE and other Spanish media reported, citing the police. The alleged attacker was arrested shortly thereafter. After the bloody crime in Algeciras in southern Spain, the public prosecutor's office opened a preliminary investigation into suspected terrorism, wrote the newspaper "El País".
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. According to eyewitnesses, the man broke into the church of San Isidro shouting "for Allah" and calling on people to profess Islam, the newspaper "elDiario.es" 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, "elDiario.es" continued. Shortly thereafter, the alleged perpetrator was arrested by the police. He had neither a criminal record nor was he otherwise known to 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". The mayor of Algeciras, José Ignacio Landaluce, said he was shocked and ordered a day of mourning in the city.