US embassy in Madrid latest letter bomb target

Bomb disposal specialists defused a letter bomb at the US Embassy in Madrid on Thursday. It is the sixth such device sent to high-profile targets in a wave that has seen Spain beef up security and vow not to be deterred from backing Ukraine.

The campaign began with a package sent to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on November 24, prompting Madrid to beef up security around public buildings. Since Wednesday, similar devices have also been sent to the Defense Ministry, an Air Force base, a weapons manufacturer and the Ukrainian Embassy – where a security officer was slightly injured.

Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles, who visited the Ukrainian port city of Odessa today and met with her Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov, said letter bombs would not stop Spain from supporting Ukraine’s “just cause”.

“What needs to be very clear is that none of these deliveries or any other violent actions will change the clear and firm commitment of Spain, the NATO countries and the European Union to support Ukraine,” she said.

The most recent package was intercepted at the US Embassy by security agents and later detonated in a controlled explosion by Spanish police.

Yesterday (11/30), a package addressed to the Ukrainian ambassador to Spain exploded at the country’s embassy while a security officer was investigating it, causing minor hand injuries and a concussion. Security has also been tightened around embassies.

Later on Wednesday, Instalaza, a weapons maker in Zaragoza, northeast Spain, which has sent more than 1,000 C90 rocket launchers to Ukraine, received another package and today an air force base that houses a satellite center from the European Union, the Spanish Ministry of Defense and the US Embassy also received packages.

After the package to the Ukrainian embassy detonated, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba ordered all Kiev embassies abroad to “urgently” beef up security.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Spain, Serhii Pohoreltsev, appeared to blame Russia.

“We have instructions from the Ukrainian ministry that, given the situation, we must be prepared for any kind of incident … Russian activities outside the country,” he told Spanish television broadcaster TVE on Wednesday.

Russia invaded Ukraine nine months ago in what it calls a “special military operation” that Kiev and the West describe as an unprovoked imperialist land grab.

sudden flames

Early indications suggest the packages were sent from within Spain, Spain’s deputy interior minister told reporters.

Rafael Pérez, the junior minister in charge of security, said the homemade devices were shipped in brown packages containing flammable powder and a trigger that would generate “sudden flames” rather than an explosion.

The packages were addressed to those responsible for the institutions to which they were sent.

Spain’s Supreme Court, which specializes in terrorism, has opened an investigation.

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Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News