AN ICON of the Virgin Mary, which was the target of a recent church bombing on the Costa del Sol, has taken pride of place at a religious event last Saturday.
The statue had been hit by a Molotov cocktail thrown by a 44-year-old man from Torre del Mar in the Virgen de los Desemparados Church in Velez Malaga.
The man, who is thought to be mentally ill, threw the homemade explosive in the middle of the afternoon. The device failed to detonate though, instead spilling fuel on the icon’s robes.
National Police officers located the alleged assailant after taking witness statements and sifting through CCTV images of the incident. On raiding the man’s house, they found two other similar devices and arrested him.
The man has now been charged with property damage and religious hatred but has refused to make a statement to police.
The arresting officers confiscated four computers, two electronic tablets, an lsquopen drive, mobile phone and clothing which were apparently worn in the attack. The man has now been sent for psychiatric evaluation.
Priests from the church are now meeting to consider ways to prevent any similar incidents with CCTV and other security measures. Another organisation, Pasion Youth is now raising money to buy the icon a new petticoat.