Letter bomb injures one at Ukraine’s Madrid embassy, Kyiv ramps up security

MADRID/KYIV, Nov 30 (Reuters) – A security officer at Ukraine’s embassy in Madrid was injured on Wednesday when he opened a letter bomb addressed to the ambassador, prompting Kyiv to call for increased security at all its missions abroad.

The letter, which arrived by regular mail and was not scanned, caused a “very small wound” on a finger when an official opened it in the embassy’s garden, Spanish government official Mercedes Gonzalez told Telemadrid television.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba ordered all of Kiev’s embassies abroad to “urgently” step up security and called on Spain to investigate the attack, a ministry spokesman said.

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He added that criminals “will not be able to intimidate Ukrainian diplomats or stop them from doing their daily work of strengthening Ukraine and fighting against Russian aggression.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to Madrid, Serhiy Pohoreltsev, later told TVE that he works at the embassy “without fear” as usual.

“We have an instruction from the ministry in Ukraine that, taking into account the situation, we should be prepared for all kinds of incidents… for all kinds of activities of Russia outside the country.

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Russia invaded Ukraine nine months ago in what it called a “special military operation” and what Kyiv and the West described as an unprovoked, imperialist land grab.

The ambassador declined to provide details on how the letter was handled, but said the injured employee followed protocol and the embassy would work to improve the system.

Spain’s Supreme Court has opened an investigation into the attack as a possible terrorist incident, a judicial source said.

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Spain’s state postal company Correos told Reuters it was cooperating with the investigation.

A residential area surrounding the embassy in northwest Madrid was cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit was dispatched to the scene. Reuters footage showed scores of police armed with automatic weapons and minibuses blocking roads in the neighborhood around the embassy.

Reporting by Belen Carreno, Jesus Aguado, David Latona, Emma Pinedo and Inti Landauro in Madrid, Tom Balmfort in Kyiv; Writing by Charlie Devereux; Edited by Aislinn Laing, Frank Jack Daniel, Mark Heinrich and Deepa Babington

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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