Ukraine embassy, Spanish arms company receive letter bombs -police

MADRID/CUVIO, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Police in Spain are investigating a possible link between two letter bombs sent to the Ukrainian ambassador in Madrid and an arms company that makes rocket launchers donated to Kyiv, they said in a statement on Wednesday. I confirmed.

In the first incident, an officer at the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid was injured when he opened a letter bomb addressed to the ambassador, prompting Kyiv to order increased security at all its representative offices abroad.

Mercedes Gonzalez, a Spanish government official, told broadcaster Telemadrid that the letter, which arrived by regular mail and was not scanned, left a “very small wound” on one of her fingers when an officer handed it to the embassy. Opened in the garden.

Ambassador Serhii Pohoreltsev told Ukrainian news site European Pravda that the suspicious package addressed to him was delivered to the commandant of the embassy, ​​a member of the Ukrainian staff.

“There was a box in the package, which aroused the commandant’s suspicions and he decided to take it outside – no one was around – and open it,” Pohorlitsev was quoted as saying. .

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“After opening the box and hearing a click that followed, he threw it and then heard an explosion…Despite not holding the box at the time of the explosion, the commandant was hit on the hand and sustained a bruise.”

Hours later, a similar package was received by an arms company in Zaragoza, northeastern Spain, police confirmed.

Rosa Serrano, a government representative in Zaragoza, said in an interview with the SER station that the two envelopes appeared to be from the same sender, as they both had the same email address written on the back. Serrano said the packages came from Ukraine and that’s what alarmed the weapons company, which called the police.

The arms company is Instalaza, the manufacturer of the C90 rocket launcher that Spain donates to Ukraine.

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Security was tightened.

After the first incident, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Koliba ordered all Kyiv embassies abroad to “immediately” strengthen security and urged Spain to investigate the attack, a ministry spokesman said. .

The Ukrainian government did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the second incident.

Ambassador Pohoriltsev later told TVE that he was working as usual at the embassy “without any fear”.

“We have received instructions from the ministry in Ukraine that given the situation we have to be prepared for any eventuality … any kind of Russian activity outside the country,” he said.

Russia invaded Ukraine nine months ago in what it calls a “special military operation” that Kyiv and the West describe as an unprovoked, imperialist land grab.

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Spain’s High Court has opened an investigation into the attack as a possible terrorism case, a judicial source said.

According to the same media, the police attacked the factory with explosives and there were no casualties in the incident.

Serrano said the envelope sent to Zaragoza was 10 x 15 centimeters and X-rays showed an explosive charge with a wire line when the envelope was opened.

Spanish state postal company Corrios told Reuters it was cooperating with the investigation.

A residential area around the embassy in northwest Madrid was cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit was deployed to the scene, as well as the area around the Zaragoza factory.

Reporting by Belen Carew, Jesus Aguado, David Latona, Emma Penedo and Antilanduro in Madrid, Tom Balmforth in Kyiv; Written by Charlie Devereux; Edited by Deepa Babington, Alastair Bell and Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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