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article imageMadrid remembers victims of 2004 train bombings with ceremony

By Shawn Kay     Mar 12, 2013 in World
Madrid - Spain marked the ninth anniversary of a 2004 terrorist attack with a memorial ceremony in Madrid yesterday morning. The attack, which involved the near simultaneous bombings of four passenger trains, claimed 191 lives and wounded 1,800.
Madrid held a somber and very brief ceremony yesterday morning at Puerta del Sol in remembrance of the 191 lives lost in the tragic March 11, 2004 train bombings, also known in Spain as 11-M.
In a series of well-coordinated attacks targeting morning rush hour commuters, Islamic extremists carried out the near simultaneous bombings of four commuter trains of the Madrid Commuter Train System, or Cercanías Madrid.
The attacks consisted of approximately ten backpacks filled with explosives left aboard crowded commuter trains and at train stations in Madrid and its surrounding metropolitan area. The explosives were all detonated by remote control.
Besides those killed in the bombings, another 1,800 people were wounded.
Carnage and chaos abound as debris and bodies are strewn about. Dazed and wounded survivors sit on r...
Carnage and chaos abound as debris and bodies are strewn about. Dazed and wounded survivors sit on railway tracks or mill about while waiting for emergency assistance in the dreadful aftermath of a well-coordinated morning rush-hour terrorist bombing spree upon the Madrid Commuter Train System leaves 191 dead and another 1,800 wounded or maimed. Islamic extremists were responsible for the attack.
Youtube screen capture
Shortly after the attacks, Spanish authorities identified several suspects in connection with the bombings, including seven who later blew themselves up to avoid arrest when Grupo Especial de Operaciones (English: Special Group of Operations) or GEO, the elite national counter-terrorism police unit, stormed their apartment. One police official was killed while eleven others were wounded. All of the terrorists were killed in the blast.
The 11-M attacks were the deadliest act of terrorism in European history and are commonly referred to as Spain’s 9/11.
Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the terrorist act.
According to UPI, yesterday’s memorial and remembrance ceremony lasted no more than 10 minutes and was held in Madrid's Puerta del Sol.
Several local and national dignitaries were in attendance for the ceremony, including Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The Globalpost news service reports Prime Minister Rajoy as having made some rather bold statements in defiance of terrorism, including a vow to “eradicate terrorism.”
"Nine years ago, Spain suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history on a day like this," the prime minister said.
Freedom, democracy and life itself "have ferocious enemies, but they will never be able to defeat us," Rajoy said.
Before the service concluded, both the Madrid regional government chief Ignacio Gonzalez and Madrid Mayor Ana Botella, placed a wreath next to a plaque honoring the victims of the terrorist attacks.
El Mundo, a local Madrid publication, informs that Spain's Association for the Victims of Terrorism held a series of events throughout the nation yesterday in remembrance of the attack. Those events included a ceremony at the Retiro Park's Bosque del Recuerdo, in which the association President Angeles Pedraza was slated to preside over a moment of silence for the victims.
The Atocha station memorial is a memorial monument located at Atocha station in Madrid  Spain  that ...
The Atocha station memorial is a memorial monument located at Atocha station in Madrid, Spain, that commemorates the 191 victims of the March 11, 2004 Madrid train bombings. The 11 m tall (36 ft) cylinder stands above Atocha station, the destination of the four trains that were attacked. Thousands of messages of condolence made in the days after the attacks are inscribed on the inside of the tower. The messages of grief can be seen from a chamber beneath the hollow monument.
Youtube screen capture
More about Madrid, alQaida, Islamic extremism, Terrorism, 11m
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