26th March 2019
Madrid train bombings remembered
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Madrid train bombings remembered, 15 years on

Monday was the 15th anniversary of the Madrid train bombings, the deadliest terror attack in the history of Spain, in which Al Qaeda terrorists attacked the Spanish capital’s commuter rail system, killing 193 people and injuring around 2,000.

The brutal terror attack led to an outpouring of sympathy from all over the world.

The bombings, in response to Spain joining the US invasion of Iraq, took place only three days before a general election, which José María Aznar‘s right-wing People’s Party (PP) lost to José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s PSOE Socialist party.

Madrid train bombings remembered
A relative of a victim of the Madrid train bombings places flowers outside Atocha Station on 11 March 2019. (Reuters / Juan Medina / via ACN)

The PP’s electoral defeat was widely attributed to party heads distorting reality in order to blame Basque separatists for the bombings. Catalonia was among many areas in Spain that shunned the PP in the election to give the Socialists an unexpected victory.

The PP’s handling of the tragedy also sparked demonstrations and protests all over Spain, demanding that the government ‘tell the truth’.

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