MONTEVIDEO: The fatal stabbing of a Jewish man in Uruguay was religiously motivated and carried out by a man who said Allah was responsible for his actions, a local newspaper cited the case judge as saying on Thursday.
Judge Fabricio Cidade on Thursday found 36-year-old Carlos Peralta guilty of knifing businessman David Fremd late Tuesday in Paysandu, near the border with Argentina.
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He told the El Telegrafo newspaper that Peralta would be sent to a psychiatric hospital for tests ahead of sentencing and that there would also be an investigation into whether an outside group was linked to the attack.
"He consistently talked about the religious motivations but did not once recognise committing the crime," the judge told the local paper. "He said his actions were in the hands of Allah."
Fremd, 54, was head of the Jewish Community of Paysandu.
The judge said an investigation would examine whether Peralta, who had converted to Islam, had been in contact with foreign groups. Peralta's computer had been seized and it appeared he had acted alone, Cidade told El Telegrafo.
"Now it passes into the hands of the intelligence services to investigate any eventual link with some foreign organisation," he told the paper.
Juan Roballo, a senior official in the presidency, told a local TV channel that he did not want to sound alarm bells but the government had to "consider all possibilities."
In the Uruguayan capital Montevideo, the Egyptian Centre for Islamic Culture and Israeli Embassy condemned the attack.
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Stabbings have been on the rise in Israel, where violence escalated during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden.
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian who tried to stab them on Wednesday, the military said. The attacks came a day after an American tourist was killed in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian who went on a stabbing spree while Biden held meetings just blocks away.
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