Spanish police hold US military wife for stabbing baby daughter

MADRID (AFP) - Spanish police on Wednesday detained an American woman for repeatedly stabbing her 10-month-old daughter after she was seen running naked in the streets shouting insults and threats.

The woman, the wife of a US soldier stationed at the Moron de la Frontera military base near the southwestern city of Seville, was reported to police by residents of the town on Utrera, a local police spokeswoman said.

"She threatened, insulted and even pushed people who got in her way and screamed 'kill' in English and people called police," the spokeswoman said.

Two patrols were dispatched to the scene and officers accompanied the woman to her house so she could get dressed and they heard the sound of a baby crying coming from the second floor.

"They found the baby bleeding and the woman with the knife that she used to stab the baby," the spokeswoman said.

It was not immediately clear if the woman had stabbed her baby before police took her to the house or after.

Police administered first aid to the baby before rushing the little girl to a hospital in Seville where she underwent surgery.

She was said to be in a "serious but stable" condition.

The woman was taken to the psychiatric ward of the same hospital.

The Moron de la Frontera base has been used jointly by the Spanish and US air forces since 1953.

As well as helping with the evacuation of the US embassy in Benghazi in 2012, it served as a springboard for US-led coalition forces in the 1991 Gulf War.

Last year, Spain and the United States signed a defence agreement permanently granting the US military a presence and the base as a centre for a rapid reaction force to deal with crises in Africa and elsewhere.

The deal allows the US to station up to 3,500 troops at the base, up from 850 previously.