Mayoral candidate is shot dead by husband

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The Independent Online

A young mayoral candidate in Spain's local elections was shot dead by her husband yesterday, heightening concerns over rising levels of domestic violence ahead of nationwide town hall and regional polls on Sunday.

Police said that Patricia Maurel, 29, the ruling Popular party (PP) candidate for mayor in the town of La Puebla de Hijar in central Spain, had been shot 11 times with .22 calibre rifle early yesterday morning. She was found dead in a field.

Ms Maurel's husband, Jose Javier Salvador Calvo, 34, was arrested shortly after he arrived at the local hospital in the provincial capital, Teruel - about 100 miles away - drenched in blood. According to news reports, he told medical staff that he had killed his wife.

The murder comes at a time of growing concern over domestic violence in Spain. According to a government survey published earlier this month, the number of women killed by their husbands, partners or former partners soared by almost two-thirds in the first quarter of this year.

The report by the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry said 18 women had been shot, stabbed, thrown out of windows, burnt or beaten to death by their partners between January and March. That was up from 11 deaths during the same period last year.

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