Spain: At least one dead, several injured in church machete attacks; terror link probed

A man with a machete (a bladed weapon) attacked two churches in the city of Algeciras on Wednesday (January 25), killing a sexton and seriously injuring a priest before being arrested, as per Spain’s interior ministry. The suspect is in the National Police of Spain’s custody after being arrested in the southern city. The ministry did not identify him as reported by AP news agency.

At around seven in the evening of January 25, the armed man entered the San Isidro church and attacked a priest, inflicting significant injuries, according to the ministry.

Five minutes later, the attacker travelled to a different church, Nuestra Seora de La Palma, where he entered and continued his spree by attacking the sexton, whose responsibility it is to look after the church and maintain it. 

The injured priest identified as Antonio Rodriguez by the Algeciras town hall is hospitalised and stable. The sexton who died was identified as Diego Valencia. 

The National Court of Spain said that a judge has started looking into a possible act of terrorism.

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Pedro Sánchez, the prime minister of Spain, also expressed his condolences.

“I want to express my sincerest condolences for the families of the sexton slain in the terrible attack in Algeciras,” Sánchez wrote on Twitter. “I desire the injured a swift recovery.”

Located across from a bay from Gibraltar, Algeciras is a town close to Spain’s southernmost point. Having ferry connections to northern Africa, it is home to a significant port.

(With inputs from agencies)

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