A Moroccan national attacked clergymen at two churches in a southern Spanish city on Wednesday, killing at least one person in the latest terror attack in Spain. Two churches just 300 meters apart came under the attack in the southern port town of Algeciras, authorities said.
The Spanish authorities said the crime is being investigated as a terrorist act. They did not reveal the name and nationality of the attacker but local media outlets said the terrorist was a 25-year-old Moroccan national.
Key Port Town
San Isidro church and Nuestra Senora de La Palma church were attacked after 8 pm on Wednesday.
Algeciras is a key southern town in Spain where the main port for vessels travelling between Spain and Morocco is situated.
The sacristan at the Nuestra Senora de La Palma church, Diego Valencia, was killed in the attack, while Antonio Rodriguez, the priest at the parish church of San Isidro was critically injured.
Local media said the terrorist entered the San Isidro church and attacked priest Rodriguez, who was celebrating the Holy Mass. The Moroccan then proceeded to the nearby Nuestra Senora de La Palma church where he attacked the sacristan and damaged property.
According to France 24, the attacker barged into the church shouting and desecrated the church by throwing icons, crosses and candles to the floor.
The assailant fled the spot but the police chased and arrested him. Several people were injured in the attack. According to Al Mundo newspaper at least 4 people were injured.
"Just after 7 p.m. (1800 GMT) this evening, a man entered the church of San Isidro in Algeciras, where, armed with a machete, he attacked the priest, leaving him seriously wounded ... 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," the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
Crackdown on Islamic Terror
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez condemned the incident saying it was a "terrible attack". Francisco Garcia, the secretary-general of Spain's Episcopal Conference, said the community was in great pain after the attack. "These are sad moments of suffering, we are united by the pain of families of the victims and for the Diocese of Cadiz,'' Garcia said.