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CRIME

Police sprinting champ bags Spanish purse snatchers

Two Spanish robbers who tried to flee on foot after snatching a bag containing 3,000 euros ($3,300) met with more than they bargained for when one of the police officers pursuing them turned out to be a record-holding sprinter.

Police sprinting champ bags Spanish purse snatchers
Photo: Depositphotos

The pair snatched the bag on Friday from a man who had just been to a bank in the southern Spanish city of Seville, the city's emergency services said on its official Twitter feed. 

He quickly alerted the police, saying the bag snatchers had fled in a car. After realising the police were on their tail, they abandoned the car and tried to run — but were quickly outpaced, Seville's ABC newspaper reported.

“The suspects, who had just stolen more than 3,000 euros in Seville, didn't know that one of the local police officers who was chasing them was a world-record-holding relay runner, and a Spanish champion with a European masters record for 400 metres,” the emergency services tweeted.

“Running for 200-300 metres, I can do that” very quickly, the police officer told Antena3 television, giving his name only as Sergio. And on collaring one of the crooks, Sergio could not resist telling him: “You've had a bit of bad luck, mate!”

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CRIME

Extremist deported after living in Spain for 30 years

Spanish authorities have deported a Moroccan Muslim activist who has lived in the country since he was ten, after accusing him of being one of the "main advocates" of the Salafist movement of ultra-conservative Islamism in Spain.

Extremist deported after living in Spain for 30 years

The 40-year-old was deported to Morocco on Saturday morning after he was held for several weeks at a deportation centre in Barcelona, a police source told AFP.

Officers arrested Mohamed Said Badaoui last month in the northeastern province of Tarragona, where he was the president of the Association for the Defence of the Rights of the Muslim Community.

A Spanish court in late October approved his deportation due to “his participation in activities contrary to national security” and “public order”.

Spanish police consider Badaoui to be “one of the main advocates in Spain of the most orthodox Salafism, which he preaches so influentially that an increase in radicalism occurred in Tarragona” since he moved there, according to its ruling.

Badaoui arrived in Spain at the age of ten from Morocco and has lived in the Catalan city of Reus for 30 years, where he has a wife and three children.

Police also accused him of “taking advantage” of the “vulnerability” of minors who arrive in Spain without their parents, “mainly of Moroccan origin”, to indoctrinate them in the “most radical Salafism,” which promotes a strictly conservative lifestyle.

Badaoui has rejected these accusations. Well-known in Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia where he has lived for nearly three decades, he presents himself as an activist and anti-racism campaigner.

He has been supported by Catalonia’s main separatist parties which govern the region as well as by the regional branch of far-left party Podemos, the junior partner in Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s coalition government.

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