Letter bomb injures one at Ukraine’s Madrid embassy, Kyiv ramps up security

MADRID/KYIV, Nov 30 (Reuters) – A security guard at Ukraine’s embassy in Madrid was injured on Wednesday while opening a bomb addressed to the ambassador, prompting Kyiv to increase security at all its embassies abroad.

The letter, which arrived by regular mail and was not scanned, left a “very small wound” on one finger when an officer opened it in the embassy’s garden, Spanish government official Mercedes Gonzalez told Telemadrid television.

A few hours later, an arms company in the northeastern Spanish city of Zaragoza received a similar package, local media reported, citing police sources. Reuters could not independently confirm this information.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba ordered all of Kiev’s embassies abroad to “immediately” increase security and called on Spain to investigate the attack, a ministry spokesman said.

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The criminals, he added, “are not capable of intimidating Ukrainian diplomats or stopping them from doing their daily work of strengthening Ukraine and resisting Russian aggression.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to Madrid, Serhiy Pokhoreltsev, later told TVE that he was working at the embassy “without fear” as usual.

“We have an instruction from the ministry in Ukraine, taking into account the situation, we must be ready for any incidents … whatever Russian activities outside the country,” he said.

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The operation, which Russia called a “special military operation” in Ukraine nine months ago, was described by Kyiv and the West as an imperialist occupation without reason.

The ambassador declined to comment on how the letter was handled, but said the injured worker followed protocol and the embassy would look into improving the system.

Spain’s Supreme Court has opened an investigation into the terrorist attack, a judicial source said.

Local media have identified the arms company that received the second suspicious package in Zaragoza as Instalanza, the maker of the C90 missile launcher that Spain donated to Ukraine.

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Police carried out a controlled explosion at the factory, and no injuries were reported, the same media reported.

Spain’s state postal company Correos told Reuters it was cooperating with the investigation.

The embassy in northwest Madrid has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal team has been dispatched to the scene. Reuters footage showed scores of police officers armed with assault rifles and vans blocking roads around the embassy.

Reporting by Belen Carreño, Jesus Aguado, David Latona, Emma Pinedo and Inti Landauro in Madrid, Tom Balmforth in Kyiv; Written by Charlie Devereux; Edited by Deepa Babington and Alistair Bell

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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