Cuba makes arrests in Spanish priest slayings: press | world | Hindustan Times
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Cuba makes arrests in Spanish priest slayings: press

world Updated: Jul 20, 2009 11:26 IST

AFP
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The Cuban government announced on Monday that it had arrested an unspecified number of suspects in connection with the murder of two Spanish priests in Havana.

The Juventud Rebelde newspaper quoted the archbishop of Havana, who told the daily that suspects had been arrested on suspicion of the murders, which occurred in February and earlier this month.

In the more recent of the two homicides, the body of 74-year-old Spanish priest, Mariano Arroyo Merino was found in his parish in the Cuban capital.

Catholic faithful in the coastal Regla neighborhood said that at dawn they saw smoke pouring out of the parish’s rectory -- which is attached to the National Sanctuary of the Virgin of Regla -- and called firefighters, who discovered the priest’s body.

Arroyo had been in Cuba since early 1997, according to the statement. He was appointed parish priest and rector to the national sanctuary in Regla in December 2004.

About 150 priests from Spain or Latin American nations practice in Cuba to boost the small numbers in the island’s Catholic order.

In February, Father Eduardo de la Fuente Serrano, 61, was found stabbed to death along a road near a park southeast of Havana.