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Madrid Atocha bomb scare 'a false alarm'

The Local · 2 Jan 2015, 10:36

Published: 02 Jan 2015 10:36 GMT+01:00

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The train from Madrid's southern Vallecas district was evacuated some 400 metres (440 yards) before entering Atocha station after a man carrying a backpack threatened to blow up the train.

The busy central station was also evacuated after the incident but reopened late in the morning on Friday.

The man — reportedly from North Africa — was arrested with police confirming he was not carrying explosives.

Catalan daily La Vanguardia reported his backpack contained only a bottle of water. 

Spain's interior minister Jorge Fernández Díaz said the man was undergoing psychiatric treatment and had spent a week in a Madrid clinic in December.

On March 11th 2004, Al-Qaeda-inspired bombers blew up four packed commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people. Around 2,000 people were injured in the attacks. 

Friday's false alarm comes a week after a man rammed a car loaded with gas bottles into the headquarters of Spain's ruling Popular Party in Madrid.

Story continues below…

He claimed he was carrying 15 kilograms of the explosive ammonal — a mixture of ammonium nitrate and aluminium powder — and a number of timers.

However, initial analysis showed that while a substance found in the car was flammable, it wasn't an explosive.

Nobody was hurt in the attack. 

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