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173 dead in Madrid

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Spain rail blasts: 173 dead

Thursday, March 11, 2004 Posted: 9:51 AM EST (1451 GMT)

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A massive, coordinated terror strike on Madrid's commuter train system killed at least 173 people and wounded over 600 others at the height of the city's rush hour, Spain's interior minister says.

Spanish officials are blaming terrorists from the Basque separatist group ETA for the attack, but so far, there has been no claim of responsibility.

In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar took a firm stand against terror and terrorists, saying "there is no possible negotiation with these killers."

The Spanish Ambassador to the U.S., Javier Ruperez, said the incident was "in a way" Spain's September 11, referring to the terror attacks in the U.S. in 2001.

An official from Spain's northern Basque region called it the worst terrorist attack in Spanish history.

ETA, which has been designated a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union, is blamed for and has claimed responsibility for attacks that have killed 800 people over the years.

U.S. President George W. Bush called Aznar Thursday morning to express "solidarity with the people of Spain at this difficult moment," a National Security Council spokesman said.

The attacks took place at the height of Thursday's rush hour when three separate trains were hit by near-simultaneous explosions before 8 a.m. (2 a.m. ET) along the southern part of Madrid's train network, officials said.

Interior Minister Angel Acebes said there were a total of 10 explosions at the Santa Eugenia, El Pozo and Atocha stations, and three other bombs found and detonated by police.

The most deadly blast happened on a train entering Madrid's main Atocha station, according to Acebes.

Security forces found other bombs, and detonated them in controlled explosions, he added.

Survivors described scenes of chaos and panic in the Spanish capital.

"The worst was people screaming for help inside the train and there was nothing we could do," one survivor told CNN's Spanish sister network, CNN+.

People in tears walked away from the city's main Atocha station in droves as rescue workers carried bodies away from the scene.

Many people with bloodied faces sat on curbs, using mobile phones to tell loved ones they were alive. (More eyewitness)

The attack comes ahead of Sunday's general election in which Spain's conservative ruling Popular Party -- which has taken a hard-line stance against ETA -- is currently leading in the polls.

After the blasts, all political parties announced they were suspending campaign rallies ahead of Sunday's election, but there has been no word that elections would be suspended.

The government called for a three-day period of mourning and impromptu anti-ETA demonstrations have broken out in Madrid and other Spanish cities.

Spanish police -- who have foiled several recent bombing attempts by ETA -- were on high alert for terror attacks by the separatist group ahead of Sunday's vote.

Demonstrators hold up their hands, calling for an end to violence, during a demonstration in Seville.

Video of the scene showed the train at Atocha broken into pieces by the force of the explosions.

Medical staff set up a field hospital to treat the wounded at the scene, and buses were mobilized to help ambulances transport the wounded to hospitals.

Shortly after the blasts, Basque leader Juan Jose Ibarretxe held a news conference from the Basque capital of Vitoria, condemning the violence and calling for demonstrations against ETA.

Basque member of Parliament Gustavo Aristegui -- who was in Madrid at the time of the attack -- also blamed ETA for the attack.

"This is probably Spain's worst terrorist attack in history -- not probably, surely our worst terrorist attack ever," Aristegui told CNN. "There are people that are real monsters that are trying to blackmail the whole society through acts of terror."

Citizens queue up to donate blood in Madrid.

In an interview on Radio Popular in the Basque country, Arnaldo Otegi, leader of banned radical political party Batasuna, said he did not believe ETA was responsible for the attacks.

The attacks, he said, could have been "an operation by sectors of the Arab resistance."

But Acebes said Otegi was simply trying to confuse the situation.

ETA has been fighting for an independent homeland in northern Spain. The attacks drew an immediate condemnation throughout Europe.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw called it "a disgusting assault on the very principle of European democracy."

Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio placed the blame squarely on ETA, saying "we knew they are preparing a very big terror attack."

"ETA has a very clear pattern in its activities and we unfortunately have a long experience in dealing with them," she said. (More reaction)

On February 29, Spanish police seized more than 1,000 pounds of explosives and arrested two suspected ETA members who were planning to carry out an imminent attack in Madrid, an official said. (Full story)

CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman contributed to this report.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/03/11/spain.blasts/index.html

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Originally posted by crosspatrick

on cnn now they are saying it could have been islamic militants

media reporting a group related to al qaeda responsible- one of their reasons for the killings-was to get even for the crusades- is that like my line-of why murderers kill Israelis??- because a muslim lost a back gammon game to a jew- in 1921??? can't wait to hear the debate form the pro- muslim crowd

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Originally posted by babbo

media reporting a group related to al qaeda responsible

How do we now it was that?

The claimed Al Qaeda "spokesman" that claimed responsibility for the bombing also claimed responsibility for the East coast blackout last summer.

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Originally posted by bigpoppanils

How do we now it was that?

The claimed Al Qaeda "spokesman" that claimed responsibility for the bombing also claimed responsibility for the East coast blackout last summer.

okay- so lets say its not al qaeda- it turns out to be another group of murderers- I am anxious to see/hear, those who will yet again- defend acts of terrorism/murder-

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Originally posted by babbo

media reporting a group related to al qaeda responsible- one of their reasons for the killings-was to get even for the crusades- is that like my line-of why murderers kill Israelis??- because a muslim lost a back gammon game to a jew- in 1921??? can't wait to hear the debate form the pro- muslim crowd

so, wait according to your logic because some muslims are terrorists, all of them are "murderers". Thats exactly the kind of logic these terrorists used in "avenging the crusades". Stupidity.

And PALESTINIANS kill Israelis (like Israelis killed British before them) for a land to call their own.

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Originally posted by babbo

okay- so lets say its not al qaeda- it turns out to be another group of murderers- I am anxious to see/hear, those who will yet again- defend acts of terrorism/murder-

nobody defends terrorism/murder you twat - its when people, like a few on here, start to equate a whole religion with murder that logic demands we step in.

You really must be clueless to actually think anybody on here would defend this terrible act. I'm still waiting for this "defending" you're talking about.

:rolleyes:

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Originally posted by raver_mania

And PALESTINIANS kill Israelis (like Israelis killed British before them) for a land to call their own.

Raver, I know you do not really believe this. Hamas and Hezbelloh kill Israelis because they are Israelis.

Do a minority of the Palestinian homocide bombers commit murder in the name of fighting "occupiers", yes....but a minority that has been twisted up and perverted by the terrorist organizers who use them as pawns to simply kill Israeli's....

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Originally posted by igloo

Raver, I know you do not really believe this. Hamas and Hezbelloh kill Israelis because they are Israelis.

Do a minority of the Palestinian homocide bombers commit murder in the name of fighting "occupiers", yes....but a minority that has been twisted up and perverted by the terrorist organizers who use them as pawns to simply kill Israeli's....

Israeli's kill Palestinians just because they are Palestinians.

Israel's kill people just because they aren't Israeli.

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Originally posted by djxeno

Israeli's kill Palestinians just because they are Palestinians.

Israel's kill people just because they aren't Israeli.

Perfect example of a detachment from reality.....and what adds to the problem

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Originally posted by raver_mania

so, wait according to your logic because some muslims are terrorists, all of them are "murderers".

If not murderers, they sure support murder

Now go choke

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Originally posted by raver_mania

so, wait according to your logic because some muslims are terrorists, all of them are "murderers". Thats exactly the kind of logic these terrorists used in "avenging the crusades". Stupidity.

And PALESTINIANS kill Israelis (like Israelis killed British before them) for a land to call their own.

1-terroritsts are murders- yes!!

2-palestianians kill jews-for a homelamd- bullshit- they could have had a home land m,any times- they can't close the deal pal

muslims kills jews- just because they are jews

jews killed british for a homeland- and they settled on a deal-their actions stopped- muslims/arabs/palestinaian cant close the deal- and even if/when they coudl- they will continue to kill

now- of ocurse its not all muslims arabs-palestinians- just an awful fucking lot of them lmfao

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Originally posted by babbo

1-terroritsts are murders- yes!!

2-palestianians kill jews-for a homelamd- bullshit- they could have had a home land m,any times- they can't close the deal pal

muslims kills jews- just because they are jews

jews killed british for a homeland- and they settled on a deal-their actions stopped- muslims/arabs/palestinaian cant close the deal- and even if/when they coudl- they will continue to kill

now- of ocurse its not all muslims arabs-palestinians- just an awful fucking lot of them lmfao

THey have not had "many chances" as you put it - Oslo records were the closest they came, and even then all the issues were not addressed. Arafat and Barak were still in the negotiating stages when, guess who, Sharon decided to stir an already angry hornet's nest by visiting Temple Mount.

There were riots, where police used excessive force killing several Palestinians, and thus began the latest intifada. The previous 18 or so months had seen relative peace, so don't make it out to seem like the Arabs have always hated Jews. Hell, after all, they were the ones evicted from their land when the Jewish immigration started in the late 1800's.

I'm sure the British gave the Jewish terrorists "many chances" too but they wouldn't settle on anything other than their own state. WHy should the Palestinians be any different?

What you're saying is PURE speculation - Palestinians will continue to kill Israelis even after they get their own homeland?? Where did you come up with this BS? Show me the evidence of this. SHow me facts.

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Originally posted by raver_mania

THey have not had "many chances" as you put it - Oslo records were the closest they came, and even then all the issues were not addressed. Arafat and Barak were still in the negotiating stages when, guess who, Sharon decided to stir an already angry hornet's nest by visiting Temple Mount.

There were riots, where police used excessive force killing several Palestinians, and thus began the latest intifada. The previous 18 or so months had seen relative peace, so don't make it out to seem like the Arabs have always hated Jews. Hell, after all, they were the ones evicted from their land when the Jewish immigration started in the late 1800's.

I'm sure the British gave the Jewish terrorists "many chances" too but they wouldn't settle on anything other than their own state. WHy should the Palestinians be any different?

What you're saying is PURE speculation - Palestinians will continue to kill Israelis even after they get their own homeland?? Where did you come up with this BS? Show me the evidence of this. SHow me facts.

you want to talk about- what happens to Jews in muslim nations??

sharon walks on temple mount- causes a war?? muslims will attack if they lose a backgammon game to a jew lol

what kind of country do you think it would be if muslims ruled irsrael- and jews didn't do you think there would be a single jew alive in israel today??

your head is screwed on backwards- arabs have blown chances for apalestinian state from the 1940's thru today- reason they can compromise is- they want it all- and they want the jews dead- read up on it-get your head out of the sand

you think for a second- israel will in any way jeopardize theri security- any more than it now can secure themselves.

problem is worse now than ever- the issues have been intensified

muslims are more extremem- palestinians, and outside muslims

they dont know the meaning of negotiate and compromise

if they did- they wouldnt be in the position theyre in now

they have no one to blame but themselves for the staure in sociiety- their murdereing terrorists acts-and their declarations against the rest of non-muslim civilization.

given enough time- the muslim extremists will either self destruct- or bring destruction upon themselves. as a result- clear thinking-moderate arabs/muslims lose lose lose

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u guys make me sick...u bunch of fuckin sick degenerate motherfuckers.

everything has to be about jew this..jew that...muslim this ..muslim that...

have some fuckin sympathy u fucking fucks..i doubt Nils posted this article so u fuck'tards can go on about jew this jew that....JEW need to the the fuck up

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Originally posted by raver_mania

THey have not had "many chances" as you put it - Oslo records were the closest they came, and even then all the issues were not addressed. Arafat and Barak were still in the negotiating stages when, guess who, Sharon decided to stir an already angry hornet's nest by visiting Temple Mount.

There were riots, where police used excessive force killing several Palestinians, and thus began the latest intifada. The previous 18 or so months had seen relative peace, so don't make it out to seem like the Arabs have always hated Jews. Hell, after all, they were the ones evicted from their land when the Jewish immigration started in the late 1800's.

I'm sure the British gave the Jewish terrorists "many chances" too but they wouldn't settle on anything other than their own state. WHy should the Palestinians be any different?

What you're saying is PURE speculation - Palestinians will continue to kill Israelis even after they get their own homeland?? Where did you come up with this BS? Show me the evidence of this. SHow me facts.

You stupid sandspook, arabs have been attacking jews since the biblical times,and I've said this a million times there is no such thing as palestine or the palestinian ppl, they're a bunch of smelly half-breeds with no culture to call their own.

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Originally posted by ghhhhhost

u guys make me sick...u bunch of fuckin sick degenerate motherfuckers.

everything has to be about jew this..jew that...muslim this ..muslim that...

have some fuckin sympathy u fucking fucks..i doubt Nils posted this article so u fuck'tards can go on about jew this jew that....JEW need to the the fuck up

unfortunately that is what usually happens with most political threads.....both here and on NB/Rhythmism

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