British woman decapitated in Tenerife supermarket

A deranged knifeman decapitated a British woman in a supermarket on the Spanish resort island of Tenerife on Friday and fled with her head, media said.

The man, said to be a 28-year-old vagrant known in the area, apparently picked his victim at random in a Chinese supermarket, said media quoting witnesses and the national police.

The man, of Bulgarian nationality, was caught while fleeing, according to online newspapers and radio reports, which could not be immediately confirmed by the police.

“A man came running up with something full of blood in his hand and a private security guard behind him, and he threw it on the ground and it almost hit me,” a witness named only as Bernardo told Cadena Ser radio.

“What he had in his hand was a head.”

The victim was reportedly a 60-year-old British woman who worked in the supermarket in the tourist spot of Los Cristianos beach in Arona on the southern side of Tenerife, part of the Canary Islands.

The attacker shouted out: “God is on Earth,” according to local news site, quoting Arona’s mayor, Jose Alberto Gonzalez Reveron.

The attacker lived in a “semi-abandoned” house, the mayor said.

Canary Islands political representative Dominica Fernandez was quoted by the news site as saying that the killer was disturbed and had chosen his victim at random.

Spain’s main daily El Pais said the attack occurred at 10:30 am (08:30 GMT) in the supermarket, which forms part of the Valdes Centre shopping centre of Arona.

The attacker had a record of arrests for assault and was detained by police as he struggled to escape from a security guard, the paper said. The killer did not speak to his victim, it added.

Other news reports said the man had been in a psychiatric hospital for violence.

In London, a Foreign Office official said it had been informed of the attack. “We are aware of reports of the death of a British national in Tenerife and are urgently investigating,” she said.

Tenerife is home to around one million residents and one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations.—AFP

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