Spain mourns its dead

12th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

12 March 2004, MADRID - Spain came to a standstill Friday as millions stopped to mourn the deaths of 198 people killed in the terrorist bomb attacks in Madrid.

12 March 2004

MADRID - Spain came to a standstill Friday as millions stopped to mourn the deaths of  198 people killed in the terrorist bomb attacks in Madrid.

More than 1,400 people were injured as 10 bombs ripped through commuter trains in Thursday morning's rush hour.

Millions stopped work at midday Friday for 15 minutes of silence as a mark of respect for the dead.

Schools, museums, universities and the Central Bank will be shut Friday, and huge crowds are expected throughout Spain for peaceful demonstrations at 7pm.

In the streets, black ribbons are being attached to doors, shop windows and other public places.

Elsewhere, signs showing the black ribbons and with messages condemning terrorism, have been attached to many doorways.

Some newspapers have used black mastheads as a sign of respect for those killed in the massacre.

Many theatres have cancelled shows Friday and a minute's silence will be observed at all football matches.

Lines of investigation are being kept open after clues apparently implicated either Basque or Islamic militants.

In an address to the nation on Thursday, King Juan Carlos said "terrorist barbarity" had plunged Spain into the deepest grief.

It was the worst terror attack in modern Spanish history and the deadliest in Europe since the Lockerbie airliner bomb killed 270 in Britain in 1988.

The harrowing task of identifying dozens bodies is continuing more than 24 hours after the blast.

One baby is gravely ill in hospital but his father, who was with him at the time of the blast, has not been found.

The authorities said Friday they had received 6,000 calls from worried relatives.

Forty experts have drafted in and there has been a steady stream of grieving relatives at a large convention centre that is being used to house the dead.

The main Basque city, Bilbao, saw a large rally led by nationalists to condemn the bombs.

There were pot-banging protests in Barcelona and candle-lit vigils in Madrid.  

The government said Friday's nationwide rally, due to begin at 7pm, would show solidarity "with the victims, with the constitution and for the defeat of terrorism".

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

0 Comments To This Article