Spain to mark Madrid massacre six months on
10 September 2004, MADRID - Spain will mark Saturday the anniversaries of the 11 March train bombings and the 11 September attacks in the United States. There are expected to be a series of demonstrations around the country in support of the 191 victims of the Madrid bombings.
10 September 2004
MADRID - Spain will mark Saturday the anniversaries of the 11 March train bombings and the 11 September attacks in the United States.
There are expected to be a series of demonstrations around the country in support of the 191 victims of the Madrid bombings.
But demonstrators are also expected to express widespread anger about the way the inquiry into the bombings is being carried out.
The Spanish public have become ever more cynical, particularly with the inquiry having to date not called former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar to give testimony.
Clara Escribano, who chairs the association of 11 March victims, said she felt that "the commission of inquiry is forgetting those of us who were on the trains".
The coordinated bombings of four commuter trains six months ago saw Spain suffer by far its worst ever terrorist attack.
Aznar's Popular Party (PP) paid a heavy price, losing the election to the Socialists at a general election just three days later.
Voters perceived the former government was lying about who carried out the attacks and turned against the PP.
For two days, Aznar's government insisted the Basque terrorist group ETA was behind the attacks despite mounting evidence it was the work of Islamic terrorists.
Aznar had supported the US-led invasion of Iraq and his government's insistence the attacks were not the work of Islamic terrorists appeared to many to be a bid to deflect attention from this unpopular policy.
Spain's new Socialist government swiftly withdraw its troops from Iraq, a move which met with bitter US criticism.
Spain's parliamentary commission of inquiry into 11 March has interviewed more than three dozen people, including former interior minister Angel Acebes, while the judiciary have 18 mainly Moroccan suspects in custody.
Another seven suspects blew themselves up in April during a police raid just outside Madrid.
Among those in jail are Moroccan Jamal Zougam, Syrian Basel Ghayoun and Spaniard Jose Emilio Suarez Trashorras, the first two having been picked out by witnesses to the carnage. Trashorras is believed to have provided the explosives.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news