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Spain Commemorates 2004 Madrid Train Bombings


Spain is marking the fifth anniversary of the 2004 Madrid train bombings, which killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,800 others.

Lawmakers observed a minute of silence in parliament Wednesday while survivors and families of victims led private commemorations in the Spanish capital and elsewhere.

Muslim militants linked to al-Qaida staged simultaneous attacks on early morning commuter trains on March 11 five years ago, with 10 bombs hidden in luggage.

Wednesday's ceremonies were the first anniversary commemorations held without participation of top Spanish officials. Some survivors and relatives of victims have criticized the government, accusing it of losing interest in their suffering.

A Spanish court in 2007 convicted 21 people of a role in the bombings. Most of them were from North Africa. They said the attacks were revenge for the presence of Spanish troops in Iraq.

The bombings came just days ahead of Spain's parliamentary elections, which brought Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and his Socialist Party to power. Mr. Zapatero withdrew the Spanish soldiers from Iraq soon after taking office.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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