Spanish PM, US embassy targeted in wave of letter bombs

MADRID: Spanish police on Thursday are investigating a series of mail bombs sent to targets including the prime minister and the US embassy, ​​similar to the explosion in the Ukrainian embassy, ​​which injured a staff member .
The interior ministry revealed that an envelope containing “pyrotechnic material” arrived at Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s official residence on November 24, and was destroyed in a controlled explosion.
Meanwhile, Spain’s Supreme Court announced it had expanded its initial investigation into the Ukrainian embassy letter bombing to cover all other cases.
Both announcements came a day after security personnel at the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid suffered minor injuries to one hand while opening a letter bomb addressed to the Ukrainian ambassador, an incident that prompted increased security in Kiev. at its embassies around the world.
That letter, like the others discovered, arrived by regular post.
Late in the evening, a second “suspicious postal shipment” was intercepted at the headquarters of military equipment company Instalaza in the northeastern city of Zaragoza, the Interior Ministry said.
Instalaza made grenade launchers that Spain aided to Ukraine.
Then, on Thursday morning, the mail bomb arrived at the Department of Defense; and at an airbase in Torrejon de Ardoz, just outside Madrid, where Spanish-funded weapons were sent to Ukraine.
“The characteristics of the envelopes, as well as their contents, are the same in five cases,” Spain’s security minister, Rafael Perez, told journalists.
“There are indications that the letters are coming from Spanish territory, but I stress that we must be cautious… we are in the early stages of the investigation.”
Hours after he spoke, the Interior Ministry said another letter “with similar characteristics to others” had been intercepted at the US Embassy in Madrid.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Spain, Serhii Pohoreltsev, appeared to blame Russia for the letter bombing at the country’s embassy.
“We are well aware of the terrorist methods of the aggressor state,” he said in an interview late Wednesday with Spanish public television.
“Russian methods and attacks require us to be ready for any kind of incident, provocation or attack,” he added.
But in a statement on Thursday, the Russian Embassy in Spain said: “Any terrorist threat or act, especially those aimed at diplomatic missions, is condemned. completely.”
The letter to the Department of Defense was addressed to Secretary of Defense Margarita Robles. What is sent to the airbase is for a European Union satellite hub located there.
That center supports the bloc’s foreign and security policy by gathering information from satellite images, according to its website.
After X-raying the envelope sent to the airbase, security officers determined it contained “a mechanism,” the ministry statement said. Police are still analyzing the envelope.
In Ukraine, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said three embassies had received threatening letters.
He added that the letters did not contain explosives but another substance, only saying they had been “soaked in red liquid”.
Kuleba has ordered increased security at all of its embassies, the country’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday after a letter bomb exploded at the embassy in Madrid.
Spain’s interior minister said it had ordered increased security measures at all embassies and consulates in the country, as well as “other locations requiring special protection”.
Security was beefed up in February after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In addition to sending weapons to help Ukraine, Spain is training Ukrainian troops as part of a European Union program and providing humanitarian aid.


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