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Spain's PM, Defence ministry receive explosive packages after Ukraine Embassy blast

Explosive devices also sent to arms company, military airbase near Madrid

SPAIN-BLAST/UKRAINE Police officers stand outside Spain's Ministry of Defence after suspected explosive devices hidden in envelopes were mailed to the ministry, in the wake other packages sent to targets connected to Spanish support of Ukraine | Reuters

The Spanish police have recovered four explosive packages, including one sent to the Prime Minister a day after a letter bomb blast was reported in the Ukraine Embassy in Madrid.

According to reports, explosive devices and suspected letter bombs have been sent to the Prime Minister, Defence Ministry, an arms manufacturing company whose rocket launchers were donated to Kyiv and a military airbase near Madrid. 

An explosive package was detected Wednesday evening at an arms factory in the northern Spanish city of Zaragoza. The factory makes grenade launchers which Spain has sent to Ukraine. 

Police carried out a controlled explosion of the parcel. A government official said that both the letter bomb in Zaragoza and the one at the embassy had the same e-mail address written as the sender. 

No further details were given. Spain's defence ministry said the package at the air base contained a suspect mechanism. Extra security forces were deployed to the Torrejn de Ardoz base, just east of Madrid.

It said the package was sent to base's Satellite Centre.

The embassy blast Wednesday occurred when an employee opened a letter addressed to the ambassador. The employee was not seriously injured. 

The Guardian quoting Ukraine’s ambassador to Spain, Serhii Pohoreltsev, reported that the first suspicious package was addressed to the ambassador and it was handed to the embassy’s commandant.

“The package contained a box, which raised the commandant’s suspicions and he decided to take it outside, with no one in the vicinity, and open it,” Pohoreltsev was quoted saying by the publication.

“After opening the box and hearing a click that followed, he tossed it and then heard the explosion. Despite not holding the box at the time of the explosion, the commandant hurt his hands and received a concussion,” Pohoreltsev said. The employee was taken to the Hospital Nuestra Señora de América and discharged shortly afterwards, The Guardian reported.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba quickly ordered the strengthening of the security of all Ukrainian embassies. He also asked his Spanish counterpart to take urgent measures to investigate the attack.

Spain's National Court is investigating the blast as a terrorist act and extra security has been placed at the embassy.

(With PTI inputs)

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