The Spanish authorities intercepted six letters similar to the one that exploded this Wednesday at the Ukrainian embassy in Madridone of which was addressed to the president of the government, Pedro Sánchez, was announced this Thursday.
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The last of them “has been intercepted around 12:30 p.m. (local time) in the security filter of the Embassy of the United States in Madrid“, reported the Ministry of the Interior. It has “characteristics similar to the previous ones,” he said.
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Moments before this new letter became known, Rafael Pérez, Secretary of State for Security, had said at a press conference that “the characteristics of the envelopes, like their content”, a material similar to that used in pyrotechnic devices, “are similar” in all cases.
This Thursday it was announced that one of them had been sent last week to President Pedro Sánchez. He was “detected and neutralized by the security services” of the Moncloa Palace on November 24, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
(In context: A slightly injured by letter bomb at the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid)
Immediately afterwards, Moncloa security “proceeded to the controlled deflagration of the envelope”, the ministry added.
Faced with this series of events, the Ministry of the Interior ordered that “extreme protection measures” both in embassies and in public and government buildings“especially with regard to controls on postal items”.
The other suspicious envelopes
The first news about this series of letters with “pyrotechnic material” was received on Wednesday afternoon, when one of them exploded while being handled by a guard from the Ukrainian embassy in Madridwhich caused minor injuries to one hand.
The envelope was addressed to the Ukrainian ambassador, so kyiv ordered the reinforcement of security in all its diplomatic representations.
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The same Wednesday afternoon, another “suspicious” envelope was detected arriving at the headquarters of the arms company Instalazain Zaragoza (northeast), according to the Ministry of the Interior, which added that the police explosive disposal units (TEDAX) carried out “a controlled explosion of the device.”
Instalaza makes a grenade launcher that the Spanish government of Pedro Sánchez sent to Ukraine shortly after the Russian invasion of that country in February.
In the early hours of Thursday, “the security systems of the Torrejón de Ardoz Air Base (Madrid) detected a suspicious envelope, which was determined after being analyzed by X-rays (that) it could contain some type of mechanism” , pointed out a message from the Ministry of the Interior.
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This base, near Madrid, is used by official planes that transport members of the Spanish government and military planes have also taken off from there, bringing weapons and other types of aid to Ukraine.
A fifth envelope arrived at the Ministry of Defenseaddressed to its owner, Margarita Robles, but he was also captured by security, detailed Rafael Pérez.
Where do the letters come from?
The Spanish justice, which had opened an investigation the day before for a possible crime of terrorism after the event at the Ukrainian embassy, indicated this Thursday that it was adding all the facts in the same case.
“There are indications that suggest that the origin (of the letters) comes from the Spanish territory itself“, said Pérez, who nevertheless asked for caution since the investigations were in their beginnings.
The Ukrainian ambassador to Spain, Serhii Pohoreltsev, had implicitly singled out Russia on Wednesday.
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“We know the terrorist methods of the aggressor country,” he told Spanish public television. For its part, the Russian Embassy in Spain stated on Twitter on Thursday that “any threat or terrorist act, even more so directed against a diplomatic mission, is totally reprehensible.”
The European Commission said this Thursday that what happened with the explosive packages that have been confirmed in the last hours in Spain are “very serious and serious incidents”, although it refused to “speculate” about what the reasons could have been.
There are indications that the origin (of the letters) comes from Spanish territory itself.
“These are very serious and serious incidents and, naturally, we are in contact with the authorities in Spain who are investigating what happened,” said the spokesman for Foreign Affairs of the European Commission, Peter Stano, in statements collected by Televisión Española.
Stano pointed out that “at this moment it is very difficult to speculate” on the origin of the five packages, “because you have to see the conclusions of the investigation in Spain.” “Later we are going to discuss if there are consequences, if these are isolated incidents or coordinated incidents,” the spokesman said.
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For his part, the Russian Embassy in Spain condemned the explosive package sent to the Ukrainian Embassy in Madrid, that this Thursday slightly injured a worker from the diplomatic mission, as well as those who arrived at various departments of the Spanish Government.
“Any terrorist threat or act, even more so directed against a diplomatic mission, is totally reprehensible,” the Russian legation said in a message on Twitter. The Russian Embassy extended the sentence to the explosive packages received in the other “official entities”.
WILLIAM MORENO HERNANDEZ
*With information from AFP and EFE
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