Spain on 'indefinite' high alert after bombing

7th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

8 July 2005, MADRID — The Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero says the country is to remain on "maximum alert" indefinitely in the wake of the bomb attacks in London.

8 July 2005

MADRID — The Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero says the country is to remain on "maximum alert" indefinitely in the wake of the bomb attacks in London.

Zapatero said security at potential terrorist targets, like nuclear power stations, the rail networks, government buildings and airports in Spain should remain at a maximum until further notice.

The Spanish government has offered to help the UK "pursue the criminals who have carried out such a repugnant attack against a city that was celebrating its election as the host of the 2012 Olympic Games".

The London train and bus bombings came just 16 months after Islamic extremists set off ten bombs on rush-hour trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and injuring more than 150.

In Spain the high-speed AVE link between Madrid and Seville, plus a nuclear power station near Taragona, are thought to be likely terrorist targets.

Security at rail stations and airports was also stepped up, with the military assisting the police to mount extra patrols.

Government buildings and Royal residencies will be given extra protection. 

Earlier, European Parliament President Josep Borrell expressed condolences on behalf of the whole parliament "to all suffering consequences of these barbaric attacks".

Spanish-born Borrell said: "As president of parliament and a citizen of a country that only last year experienced the horrors of such terrible attacks, I want to send a message of solidarity with British people." 

"We all stand with you, British people, and we will never let atrocities or terrorism defeat the values of peace and democracy."

Across Europe governments have moved to condemn the string of London attacks, as some stepped up security levels in their own countries.

European Union Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini said the wave of blasts showed that terrorism had once again returned to the heart of Europe.

He called on Europe to offer the UK all the help it needed.

Other European countries followed Spain's example, stepping up security after the bombings which claimed more than 50 lives and left over 300 people injured.

France moved to a higher level of security readiness following the attacks on London's transport network.

The French Senate suspended its session "out of respect" for the victims and the European Parliament held a minute's silence.

French President Jacques Chirac, at the G8 summit in Scotland, told UK Prime Minister Tony Blair of his horror at the attacks and expressed France's solidarity.

The Russian government also joined the condemnation of the attacks.

Speaking in Rome, Mr Frattini said the events in London were "a tragic confirmation that terrorism strikes once more at the heart of Europe".

"It's necessary to immediately activate co-ordination between intelligence and police services and offer England all the help possible," he said.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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