One person died and several others were injured in a deadly machete attack carried out by a man on two churches in Spain.

The Spanish investigators are treating the incident as terror-related after a machete wielding man created a situation of terror as he attacked several people at two churches in the southern port city of Algeciras. At least one person has been killed, and several others have been injured.


Algeciras is a busy ferry port connecting the Iberian peninsula with Morocco and Spain’s north African enclave of Ceuta.

The Attack

A statement by the interior ministry states that just after 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening in downtown Algeciras, a man entered two different churches, San Isidro and Nuestra Senora de La Palma, around 300 meters apart in Algeciras, where, armed with a machete, he attacked the priest, leaving him seriously wounded.

A deadly Machete attack took place in Algeciras                              Image: The Sun Daily

The Spanish police have released a statement saying that the attacker who wielded the machete has been arrested. A police source shared the footage, which showed two officers escorting a man in a hooded sports top in handcuffs. No other details about him, like his name or nationality, have been revealed yet. But according to local media, he was a 25-year-old Moroccan.


The only casualty of this attack till now was Diego Valencia, a sacristan at the Nuestra Senora de La Palma church. While the priest of the parish church of San Isidro was among the injured, his condition was serious. An unknown number of people were injured in varying degrees. According to a local newspaper, four people were hurt in the attack.

If the police are to be believed, then they say the suspect first entered the San Isidro church and attacked Rodriguez. A statement released by the Algeciras Salesians said Rodriguez, 74, was attacked when he had been celebrating Eucharist.

One dead and several injured in a machete attack                         Image: Reuters

After assailing Rodriguez with the machete, the assailant then went into the Nuestra Senora de La Palma church, where he first damaged some properties before attacking Valencia. As he was attacked, Valencia fled the church but was chased by the attacker, who inflicted further, fatal injuries on him outside, police said in a statement.

The suspect was subsequently disarmed and arrested shortly afterwards.


On his Twitter account, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expressed his deepest condolences to the victims of the “terrible attack,”  while the secretary general of Spain’s Episcopal Conference, Francisco Garcia, expressed his great pain on hearing the news. He stated that these are sad times of suffering, and that all are united by the families of the victims.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez                                          Image: Bloomberg

Algeciras Mayor Jose Ignacio Landaluce has announced a day of mourning for Thursday, with a rally planned outside the Nuestra Senora de La Palma church at midday. The Muslim neighbourhood of Algeciras publicly denounced the incident and called it brutal and savage.

Spain has one of the Lowest Crime Rates

Spain has generally low crime rates compared to other countries in Europe. According to Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, Spain had one of the lowest crime rates among EU countries in recent years. The overall crime rate in Spain has been declining in recent years, and in 2019, the country had one of the lowest crime rates in the European Union.

Violent crime is relatively rare in Spain, and the country has a relatively low murder rate compared to other countries in Europe. Property crime, such as theft and burglary, is also relatively low in Spain.

Police Officers of Spain Image: The Times of Israel

However, pickpocketing and theft from tourists are common problems in tourist areas and on public transportation, especially in major cities like Madrid and Barcelona. But common sense could usually prevent these thefts. According to the 2022 Global Peace Index, Spain is ranked as the 29th most peaceful country in the world. Hence, these type of violent attacks with machete is a rarity in Spain.


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