Spain holds memorial service for Madrid blast victims

A memorial service was held Wednesday for the 190 identified victims of the Madrid train bombings, the worst terror attacks in the country.

The national anthem was played as King Juan Carlos and Queen Dona Sofia as well as the rest of the royal family entered the 19th-century Almudena Cathedral in central Madrid.

The service, led by Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, was attended by dignitaries from around the world including French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, US Secretary of State Colin Powell, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles and Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.

A choir sang hymns as the congregation stood in the church, where a black ribbon of mourning was draped behind the altar.

Security had been tightened in the Spanish capital days ahead of the funeral.

On March 11, simultaneous bombings on four trains killed some 190 people and injured over 1,500 others in Madrid. The blasts were the worst terror attacks in Europe since the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie in Scotland which killed 270 people.

Source: Xinhua





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