AN arsonist has been arrested for attempting to burn a religious statue with a molotov cocktail.

The 44-year-old threw the homemade device at the statue at the Convent of San Francisco in Velez-Malaga.

The Torre del Mar resident was arrested for crimes against freedom of conscience.

A glass bottle was found with petrol inside, and although the molotov cocktail did not ignite, it caused damage to the plinth of the Virgin de los Desamparados statue.

Police are investigating the motive behind the attack.

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