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Update: attacks at churches in southern Spain: 1 dead, 4 wounded

Church terrorist attack in Spain


Daniel Esparza - published on 01/26/23

The attacker is currently in the custody of Spain’s national police, as authorities investigate further details.

A man killed a sexton and wounded a priest and three others in two consecutive attacks at two churches in the Andalusian city of Algeciras this Wednesday. The man was arrested and is currently in the custody of Spain’s national police, as authorities investigate further details.

According to The Guardian, the attacks began around 7 pm, when the blade-wielding man walked into the San Isidro church and seriously wounded a priest. The assailant then went to the Nuestra Señora de La Palma church, which is only five minutes away from San Isidro, where he assaulted the sexton.

As the sexton fled outside the church, the attacker followed him and killed him in a public square. Local media reported that at least three other people were wounded in these attacks.

Spain’s national court said a judge has started an investigation to see whether this was an act of terrorism, but offered no further details on the attacker’s possible motive so far.

An alleged jihadist

The attacker, Yasine Kanjaa, arrived in Algeciras in the summer of 2022. Although he holds irregular immigration status (and is listed for deportation) since last June, he has no criminal record in Spain or in any other countries.

Kanjaa lived in downtown Algeciras, in a squatted apartment with other flatmates, and frequented a nearby mosque.

The apartment was raided by the authorities a few hours after the attack that the National Court began its investigation for possible crimes of terrorism. The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has ruled out the possibility of other people involved in these events.

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