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ALGECIRAS, Spain (LifeSiteNews) — An Islamic Jihadist from Morocco was recently arrested in southern Spain for brutally killing a Catholic sacristan preparing for Mass and seriously wounding a priest.

The Associated Press reported that on Jan. 25 in the port city of Algeciras, Spain, near the Strait of Gibraltar, illegal alien Yasin Kanza entered the church of Maria Auxiliadora y San Isidro and assaulted with a machete 74-year-old Fr. Antonio Rodríguez, who had been celebrating the Mass.

The priest suffered gaping stab wounds to the neck. According to Mayor José Antonio Landaluce, the blade narrowly missed the priest’s spinal cord. After leaving the Church, the attacker then went to another nearby church, Nuestra Señora de La Palma.

According to a statement of the interior ministry, the assailant began damaging the altar, which was being prepared for Mass, when Diego Valencia, one of the church’s sacristans responsible for the care of the church, came over to inquire about the disturbance.

According to reports, the attacker demanded that those present abandon the Catholic faith. The sacristan fled outside, where he was hacked to death in the public square of the city, with a final blow of the machete to his head.

Witnesses testified that the Islamic assailant shouted “death to Christians” and “Allah is great” while hacking away at the Spaniard.

The suspected killer was arrested soon after the brutal murder in the public square. He is in the custody of Spain’s National Police and the case is under investigation as a possible act of terrorism.

Algecerias’ town hall declared a day of mourning with flags flown at half-staff on account of the killing. The priest who was attacked has survived his injuries.

Santiago Abascal, leader of the conservative Vox party in Spain, castigated the open borders policies of the left-leaning government that he argued has allowed such atrocities to happen.

Abascal said of the assailant in a tweet, “He entered Spain illegally, he had an expulsion order, he was under surveillance for jihadism, he was a squatter. How many will there be like him in Spain? The human trafficking mafias and the politicians who open their borders and shower them with subsidies cannot hide their responsibility.”

According to The Straits Times, “Spain suffered the worst militant attack on record in Europe in 2004, when 192 people were killed and more than 1,800 injured in multiple bombings on Madrid’s train system. According to a High Court ruling, the perpetrators were linked to Al Qaeda and the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group. In 2017, 16 people were killed and nearly 200 injured in a series of attacks that included militants in a van mowing down pedestrians on Barcelona’s iconic Las Ramblas boulevard.” 

The port of Algeciras in the Andalucia region of Spain serves as the main entry point for Moroccans arriving from Northern Africa. This recent brutal assault on a Catholic priest and the killing of the sacristan are the latest acts of violence connected to Islam in a long series of attacks spanning more than a decade in Spain.

The January attack in Spain also came on the same day as a Palestinian migrant allegedly stabbing nine travelers in Germany on a train from Kiel to Hamburg. The attacker killed a 16-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man, according to an ABC News report.

AFP reported that the attacks in Germany appear to fit a pattern of similar attacks throughout Europe.