A British woman was beheaded in a shop in Tenerife yesterday. Witnesses said a main entered a Chinese supermarket in a shopping centre in the popular resort town of Los Cristianos and stabbed and then beheaded the 62-year-old woman, believed to be an expatriate living on the island.
On local Spanish radio an eye witness spoke of having seen the man walking down the street holding the severed head before being overpowered by security guards.
"I was parking outside the supermarket and I saw this man running out with something bloody in his hands," he said. "It was a head. The security guards chased him and threw him to the floor and overpowered him."
The witness said the head rolled along the ground as the suspect was apprehended. The attack occurred at 10.30 yesterday morning. The victim was originally thought to have been a Chinese immigrant worker.
A local official said the man appeared to choose his victim at random. Witnesses said the man entered the supermarket in the Valdes shopping centre and attacked the woman without saying a word.
"Apparently this gentleman without any motive or any reason... entered the shop and then cut this woman's neck and took the head in his hand outside," said local councillor Manuel Reveron.
A Tenerife government spokeswoman said the man had stolen a knife from the supermarket before attacking the woman.
Police said a homeless Bulgarian man with a criminal record had been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Los Cristianos is a large resort town in southern Tenerife, very popular with British holiday makers and expats.