Explosive devices concealed in postal packages target the US and Ukrainian embassies, a weapons manufacturer and three Spanish government institutions.
The United States’ embassy in Madrid has received a letter similar to the five letter-bombs sent to the Ukrainian embassy to Spain and other targets in the country, according to La Sexta TV station.
Deputy Interior Minister Rafael Perez told reporters earlier on Thursday that the letter bombs received by five other offices, including the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid, a Spanish weapon manufacturer and three government institutions were sent from within the country.
“It appears that they were all sent from within the country but we are basing this on early visual inspections without yet having an in-depth technical report,” he said.
The interior ministry said on Thursday that an “envelope with pyrotechnic material” addressed to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had been received on November 24 and disarmed by his security team.
A “similar” package was received by the Ukrainian embassy on Wednesday was addressed to Ambassador Serhii Pohoreltsev and exploded when it was opened by a security official.
Spanish Special Services discover a bomb-laden parcel at an air force base in Torrejon de Ardoz, Spain.
The parcel is the third explosive device discovered by Spanish authorities, after the first exploded at the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid and second at a military facility. pic.twitter.com/12CtdqguCm
— Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (@gchahal) December 1, 2022
Another package was received on Wednesday night at the headquarters of Spanish weapons manufacturer Instalaza in Zaragoza, northeastern Spain, police said.
Instalaza manufactures the C90 rocket launcher that Spain has supplied to Ukraine.
Spanish security forces also found a device early on Thursday in an envelope mailed to a European Union satellite centre located at an air force base in Torrejon de Ardoz, near Madrid, the defence ministry said.
The satellite centre supports the EU’s common foreign and security policy by gathering information from space intelligence devices, according to its website, and was recently described by EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell as being part of “the eyes of Europe”.
A fifth device was received at Spain’s defence ministry on Thursday morning and defused by specialist police officers, a defence ministry spokesperson said.
A source close to the investigation told the Reuters news agency that the devices were in similar brown envelopes and addressed to the heads of each institution.
They contained loose gunpowder with an electrical ignition mechanism that would make the powder burn, rather than explode, the source said.
Deputy Interior Minister Perez said: “At this state, we are not aware that any other similar letters have been received in other countries.”
The Russian Embassy in Spain posted a statement on Thursday condemning “any threat or terrorist act” in relation to the five letter bombs sent to government offices, private companies and the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid.
“Any threat or terrorist act, particularly directed at a diplomatic mission, are to be totally condemned,” the statement said
Spain’s High Court has opened an investigation, according to a judicial source.
Ambassador Pohoreltsev told the Ukrainian news site European Pravda that the suspicious package addressed to him was handed to the embassy’s Ukrainian commandant who took it outside to open.
“After opening the box and hearing a click that followed, he tossed it and then heard the explosion … Despite not holding the box at the time of the explosion, the commandant hurt his hands and received a concussion,” Pohoreltsev was quoted as saying.