Spanish security forces found a third suspected explosive device hidden in an envelope mailed to a European Union satellite center located at an air force base in Torrejon de Ardoz, outside Madrid, the defense ministry said on Thursday.
After scanning the envelope by X-ray, air force security officers determined it contained “a mechanism,” the ministry statement said. Police were still analyzing the parcel on Thursday morning.
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 such systems as “the eyes of Europe” in September.
Thursday’s events come as Spain’s Interior Ministry announced that Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s office had received on November 24 a letter containing an explosive device “similar” to the ones received by the Ukrainian embassy, a Spanish weapons manufacturer and the one found at the air force base.
Security around public and diplomatic buildings are to be stepped up after a series of letter-bombs were received around the country, the ministry added.
Two letter-bombs were found on Wednesday addressed to the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid and to a weapons manufacturer, Instalaza in Zaragoza, in northeastern Spain, police said.
Instalaza manufactures the C90 rocket launcher that Spain has supplied to Ukraine.
The first letter-bomb exploded, causing minor injuries to a Ukrainian embassy official.
After the first incident, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba ordered all of Kyiv’s embassies abroad to “urgently” strengthen security and urged Spain to investigate the attack, a Ukrainian ministry spokesperson said.
Ambassador Serhii Pohoreltsev told the Ukrainian news site European Pravda that the suspicious package addressed to him was handed to the embassy’s commandant, a Ukrainian staff member.
“The package contained a box, which raised the commandant’s suspicions and he decided to take it outside – with no one in the vicinity – and open it,” Pohoreltsev was quoted as saying.
“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.”
Spain’s High Court has opened a probe into the attack as a possible case of terrorism.
Source: Al Arabiya