MADRID (Jun. 26)
A bomb exploded Thursday afternoon at the El Al check-in counter at Madrid’s Barajas International Airport, injuring eight people, one of them an Israeli security guard. There was extensive damage to the counter.
The bomb, apparently detonated by remote control, exploded less than an hour after Israel’s first Ambassador to Spain, Shmuel Hadass, landed at the airport on an El Al flight.
According to police, it detonated at 3:30 p.m. local time inside a piece of luggage on the El Al conveyor belt. The check-in counter burst into flames as people fled in panic, eye-witnesses said. The eight wounded persons were rushed to a local hospital within minutes.
Police believe one of the injured might be a terrorist. They are holding a suspect who was caught trying to leave the air terminal after the blast.
Israel and Spain established diplomatic relations last January 17. Since then, the Spanish authorities have stepped up security precautions at the airport and near Israeli and Jewish institutions.