US embassy, five other sites targeted by letter bombs in Spain

Explosives hidden in postal packages have been targeted at the US and Ukrainian embassies, a weapons manufacturer and three Spanish government agencies.

The US embassy in Madrid has received a letter similar to five letter bombs sent to the Ukrainian embassy in Spain and other targets in the country, La Sexta TV station reported.

Deputy Interior Minister Rafael Perez told reporters earlier on Thursday that the letter bombs received by five other offices, including the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid, a Spanish arms manufacturer and three government agencies, had been sent from the country.

“It looks like they all shipped from within the country, but we’re basing this on early visual inspections without having an in-depth technical report,” he said.

The Interior Ministry said on Thursday that an “envelope containing pyrotechnic material” addressed to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had been received and disarmed by his security team on Nov. 24.

A “similar” package was received by the Ukrainian embassy on Wednesday, was addressed to Ambassador Serhii Pohoreltsev and exploded when opened by a security official.

Another package was received at the headquarters of Spanish arms manufacturer Instalaza in Zaragoza, northeast Spain, on Wednesday night, police said.

Instalaza produces the C90 missile launcher that Spain supplied to Ukraine.

Spanish security forces also found a device early Thursday in an envelope sent to a European Union satellite center at an air base in Torrejon de Ardoz, near Madrid, the defense ministry said.

The satellite center supports the EU’s common foreign and security policy by collecting information from space intelligence equipment, according to its website, and was recently described by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell as part of “the eyes of Europe” .

A fifth device was received at the Spanish defense ministry on Thursday morning and defused by specialist police officers, a defense ministry spokesman said.

A source close to the investigation told Reuters news agency the devices came in similar brown envelopes and were addressed to the heads of each institution.

They contained loose gunpowder with an electric detonator that would cause the gunpowder to burn rather than explode, the source said.

Deputy Interior Secretary Perez said, “In this state, we are not aware of any other similar letters received in other countries.”

The Russian Embassy in Spain posted a statement on Thursday condemning “any threat or act of terrorism” related to the five letter bombs sent to government offices, private companies and the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid.

“Any threat or act of terrorism, particularly directed against a diplomatic mission, must be fully condemned,” the statement said.

The Spanish Supreme Court has opened an investigation, according to a judicial source.

Ambassador Pohoreltsev told Ukrainian news site European Pravda that the suspicious package was handed to him by the Ukrainian embassy commander, who took it outside to open it.

“After opening the box and hearing a click, he threw it and then heard the explosion… Despite not holding the box at the time of the explosion, the commander hurt his hands and suffered a concussion”, said Pohoreltsev.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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