Madrid train bombings injury toll rises to 1,841

17th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

17 May 2007 , MADRID - A forensic medical expert told the Madrid train bombing trial on Thursday the number injured in the attack has risen to 1,841.

17 May 2007

MADRID - A forensic medical expert told the Madrid train bombing trial on Thursday the number injured in the attack has risen to 1,841.

José Luis Miguel Pedrero said the number hurt had gone up by 17 because this included those who were in a vegetative state or in an irreversible coma.

Before the official number was 1,823. The number of people killed in the attacks on commuter trains in March 2004 was 191.

One police officer later died when a group of Islamic fanatics blew up a flat where they were hiding just as police were closing in on them.

Meanwhile there are now 13 defendants on hunger strike.

The hunger strikers, mostly Moroccan, sent handwritten letters to their respective prisons saying they had begun a hunger strike, prisons department spokeswoman Mar Hedo said, adding that said some of them wrote that they were not terrorists.

In the morning session of the trial Wednesday, some made gestures from inside a bulletproof chamber where the jailed defendants are watching the trial to announce the media that they were on hunger strike.

The nine include Jamal Zougam, one of the prime suspects, who is accused of placing some of the backpack bombs on the trains.

On May 10, four other defendants, including two prime suspects, began a hunger strike to protest what they called unjust accusations against them. Two of the original four hunger strikers are now also refusing to drink anything, Hedo said.

Twenty-nine people are on trial for the March 11, 2004 attacks, which killed 191 people.

There are 18 defendants who are being held in prison during the trial. The other 11 are out on bail.

Addressing the initial four protesters, presiding Judge Javier Gomez Bermudez on Wednesday warned that under no circumstances would the trial be suspended because of the hunger strike. He added that if they persisted, they could be force fed.

Hedo said the prison department was waiting for Gomez Bermudez to authorize a request to force feed the prisoners if needed.

The trial started Feb. 15 and is expected to last at least five months.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news  

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