Spain remembers Madrid train bombings victims

A ceremony was held at Madrid's Retiro Park at midday on Monday for the victims of the train bombings in the city in 2004.

Spain remembers Madrid train bombings victims
√Āngeles Pedraza, president of the assocation for victims of the Madrid train bombings (AVT), spoke to several hundred mourners. Photo: Alex Dunham

The ceremony was held to remember the 191 people who were killed in a coordinated attack on Madrid's commuter trains on the morning of March 11th 2004.

A further 1,800 people were injured in the devastating attacks in which four trains were targeted.

In a moving ceremony, the Community of Madrid honoured the victims of the al-Qaeda style terrorist attack.

Spain's second in command María Dolores de Cospedal, Madrid's mayor Ana Botella and Ignacio González, president of the Community of Madrid, all attended the ceremony. 

The president of the the victims' association (AVT) Ángeles Pedraza presided over a minute's silence and then addressed the several-hundred strong crowd of mourners.  

"We've been asked to forget, forgive, turn over a new leaf or simply shut up — all because the judicial sentence has already been passed", said Pedraza, who lost her daughter in the attack.

"The Madrid bombings are not a closed case, there are too many unknown facts about the deadliest terrorist attack in Spanish history".

"We still don't know to this day why all those people died", musician Fernando Núñez told The Local. " I've come to each memorial service for the last nine years and played several songs on my bagpipes in honour of those who lost their life pointlessly". 

"A close friend's son was injured in the bombing and he's still recovering nine years after", pensioner Mari Carmen told The Local. 

"I'll never forget hearing the blast from my kitchen, it was so close! It made me realize that it could have happened to my family."

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Madrid police end escaped camels’ night on the town

Eight camels and a llama took to the streets of Madrid overnight after escaping from a nearby circus, Spanish police said on Friday.

A camel in a zoo
A file photo of a camel in a zoo. Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

It was not immediately clear how the long-legged runaways managed to get out but Quiros Circus, which owns them, blamed sabotage by animal rights activists.

They were spotted at around 5:00 am wandering around the southern district of Carabranchel close to where the circus is currently based.

“Various camels and a llama escaped from a circus in Madrid overnight,” Spain’s national police wrote on Twitter, sharing images of eight two-humped camels and a llama hanging around a street corner.

“Police found them and took care of them so they could be taken back safe and sound,” they tweeted.

There was no word on whether the rogue revellers, who are known for spitting, put up any resistance when the police moved in to detain them.

Mati Munoz, one of the circus’ managers, expressed relief the furry fugitives — Bactrian camels who have two humps and thick shaggy coats – had been safely caught.

“Nothing happened, thank God,” he told AFP, saying the circus had filed a complaint after discovering the electric fence around the animals’ enclosure had been cut.

“We think (their escape) was due to an act of sabotage by animal rights groups who protest every year.”

Bactrian camels (camelus bactrianus) come from the rocky deserts of central and eastern Asia and have an extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.

These days, the vast majority of them are domesticated.