Spain's prime minister sent a letter bomb similar to the device that injured a Ukrainian embassy official

Spain’s prime minister sent a letter bomb similar to the device that injured a Ukrainian embassy official

MADRID, Dec 1 (Reuters) – Spain has tightened security at public and diplomatic buildings after a wave of letter bombs, including one sent to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and another to the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid, where a manager was slightly injured.

The Interior Ministry revealed Thursday that an “envelope containing pyrotechnic material” addressed to Sanchez was received on November 24 and disarmed by his security team.

The device was ‘similar’ to packages subsequently received by the Ukrainian embassy and a Spanish arms company on Wednesday, he said, and to a device intercepted at Spain’s Torrejon de Ardoz airbase in the early hours of Thursday morning.

A fifth device was received at the Spanish Defense Ministry on Thursday morning and defused by specialist police, a Defense Ministry spokesman told Reuters.

A source familiar with the investigation told Reuters that the devices sent to the Prime Minister’s office, the Ukrainian embassy, ​​the air base and the arms manufacturer were in similar brown envelopes and addressed to officials of each institution.

They contained loose gunpowder with an electric ignition mechanism that would cause the gunpowder to burn instead of explode, the source said.

The Spanish postal service Correos has been asked to collaborate on a pre-selection of all similar envelopes, the source added.

Spain’s High Court specializing in terrorism has opened an investigation, a judicial source said.


The device sent to the Ukrainian embassy was received Wednesday noon and exploded when opened by a security guard.

Ambassador Serhii Pohoreltsev told Ukrainian news site European Pravda that the suspicious package addressed to him was handed over to the Ukrainian embassy commander who took it out to open it.

“After opening the box and hearing a click that followed, he threw it away and then heard the explosion… Although he was not holding the box at the time of the explosion, the commander was injured in the hands and suffered a concussion,” Pohoreltsev said. saying.

After the incident, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba ordered all Kyiv embassies abroad to “urgently” tighten security, a Ukrainian ministry spokesman said.

Another package was confirmed to have been received on Wednesday evening at the headquarters of Spanish arms manufacturer Instalaza in Zaragoza, northeastern Spain, police said.

Instalaza manufactures the C90 rocket launcher that Spain supplied to Ukraine.

Spanish security forces also discovered on Thursday morning a suspected explosive device hidden in an envelope sent to a European Union satellite center located at an air base in Torrejon de Ardoz, near Madrid, the defense ministry said.

After scanning the envelope with X-rays, Air Force security officers determined it contained “a mechanism,” according to the ministry statement.

The satellite center supports the EU’s common foreign and security policy by gathering information from space intelligence devices, according to its website. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell described these systems as “the eyes of Europe” in September.

Reporting by Inti Landauro, Belen Carreno and Emma Pinedo; Writing by Inti Landauro and Aislinn Laing, editing by Alison Williams and Alex Richardson

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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