A spate of violence in Spain and Germany that left several people dead and many injured has drawn outrage from leaders this week.
On Wednesday, one person was killed and another hospitalised after a man carrying a large machete-type knife carried out attacks at two churches in Algeciras, southern Spain. Also on the day, a man armed with a knife killed two people and injured at least seven others on a train in northern Germany, Xinhua news agency reported.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called the attacks in Algeciras “terrible”, and offered his “most sincere condolences” to the relatives of the victim who died. Sanchez pledged to carry out an investigation into the events leading up to the attack.
On Thursday, Spain’s ministry of the interior stated that a suspect had been arrested and was in the custody of Spain’s National Police, although the suspect was not identified.
Algeciras is a busy port city that connects the Spanish mainland with the North African country of Morocco.
In Germany, the attacker was injured during his stabbing spree, and later hospitalized. Authorities have said he will be interrogated when he is able to speak, but the motive for the attack is currently unknown, and the suspect has not been identified in this case either.
Sabine Sutterlin-Waack, minister of the interior for the German region where the attack took place, told television reporters that she was “shocked and horrified that something like this has happened.”
The incidents in Spain and Germany come on the heels of an attack in Paris two weeks ago, where a man wielding a metal hook left six people injured at the Gare Du Nord (Paris North Station).
On Thursday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni denounced the “brutal and blind violence” of the attacks in Spain and Germany, and expressed Italy’s solidarity with the two countries.
A similar attack took place in Italy last October, when a man grabbed a knife off a supermarket shelf and stabbed six people, one of whom died. The attack happened during Meloni’s first week as prime minister.
Media reports have noted an increase in the number of violent attacks in recent months. Although there is no consensus on possible reasons for the increase, local media has speculated that deteriorating economic conditions and increasing sentiment against migrants could have a part to play.