Latin America & Caribbean

Acid attack on Nicaragua priest during confession

Nicaraguan Catholic faithful take part in a mass to demand the freedom of political prisoners and to cease the attack on the Catholic Church in Managua's Cathedral, in Managua on October 28, 2018 Image copyright AFP
Image caption The attack happened at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Managua

A 59-year-old priest has been injured in an acid attack in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua.

Mario Guevara had just finished hearing confession in the Metropolitan Cathedral when a woman threw acid at him.

Fr Guevara is being treated in hospital for serious burns to his face, arms and shoulders.

Worshippers detained the woman and locked her in a room until police arrived.

Police say they are still investigating the possible motive behind the attack but local media have pointed to the fact that the woman was wearing a T-shirt with a picture of foetus in a womb making an obscene gesture.

A police spokeswoman said they had identified the woman as a Russian citizen.

The attack comes at a tense time for the Catholic Church in Nicaragua. The Church has come in for sharp criticism by the government for the role it has played since the start of anti-government protests in April.

Hundreds of people were killed in clashes between protesters and the security forces. Churches became a place of sanctuary for opposition activists and at times came under siege from pro-government forces.

In July, President Ortega accused Nicaragua's clergy of siding with the protesters, whom he accuses of trying to overthrow him. "The bishops are committed to the coup-mongers," he said.

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