Knifeman decapitates British woman in Spanish supermarket

13th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

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

The man, 28-year-old Bulgarian Deyan Valentinov launched his knife attack on the victim in a Chinese supermarket.

"The attack culminated with the decapitation of the victim," Canary Islands police said in a statement. "The attacker left the establishment with the head in his hand and then threw it to the pavement."

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

She had no relation to the attacker, they said.

Police said they arrested the man as he was struggling with a security guard and trying to escape.

"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 attacker shouted out: "God is on Earth," according to local news site, quoting Arona's mayor, Jose Alberto Gonzalez Reveron. He 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.

The man, who had a previous record for causing bodily injury, struck at 10:30 am (0830 GMT) in the supermarket, which forms part of the Valdes Centre shopping center of Arona, police said.

Other news reports said the man had been in a psychiatric hospital for breaking a man's teeth and had only been released in February but this could not immediately be confirmed.

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.

© 2011 AFP

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