SPAIN: Spanish authorities have reported that a man wielding a machete killed a sacristan named Diego Valencia and wounded a priest in what could have been a “possible terrorist attack” in the southern port city of Algeciras on Wednesday at around 8 p.m.
Two different churches were targeted—San Isidro and Nuestra Senora de La Palma, approximately 1000 feet apart.
Police had arrested the attacker, as revealed through a source who shared footage of the man in a hooded sports top being detained and escorted by two policemen. The authorities have not divulged many details about the man’s identity or nationality, except that he is a 25-year-old Moroccan.
A spokesperson from Algeciras City said the titular priest of the parish church of San Isidro, Antonio Rodriguez, who was celebrating Eucharist at the time of the attack, was heavily injured and is battling for his life. Four people in total were injured.
Following this, the attacker went to the Nuestra Senora La Palma church, damaged properties, and killed Valencia, who tried to flee the scene but was chased and killed outside the church.
In a broadcast by SER, the parish priest Juan Jose Marina at Nuestra Senora de La Palma said that the attackers targeted Valencia, expecting him to be the priest.
“Possibly, this death was meant for me, and it found him instead,” Marina said.
Pedro Sanchez condemned this unruly attack and shared his condolences with the victims. Secretary general of Spain’s Episcopal Conference, Francisco Garcia, said he was in “great pain” after hearing the news.
The mayor of Algeciras, Jose Ignacio Landaluce, announced a day of mourning on Thursday. He also said a rally would be held outside Nuestra Senora de La Palma Church at noon. Jose Landaluce said: “Algeciras has always been a peaceful and tolerant city, even though things like this give it a bad name that doesn’t match the truth.”
Also Read: US Capitol Attack Finds Four Oath Keepers Guilty of Seditious Conspiracy