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Spain Lowers Bombing Death Toll to 190 - 2004-03-23


Spain says it has identified 190 victims of the March 11 Madrid train bombings and says that total is unlikely to increase.

The chief of forensic police Carlos Corrales told reporters Tuesday the death toll is not expected to rise because the rest of the human remains collected after the explosions will be nearly impossible to identify.

Initial reports said 202 people died in the attacks and nearly 1,800 others were wounded.

Spain will hold a state funeral for the victims Wednesday in Madrid. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are among those who plan to attend.

Meanwhile, a Spanish judge earlier Tuesday ordered the continued detention of three Moroccans and one Spaniard who were arrested last week. Another Moroccan arrested at the same time was released.

Nine suspects have now appeared before the judge and been ordered to remain in custody in connection with the train bombings.

Another four suspects arrested Monday are expected to appear before the judge in the coming days. They have not yet been identified.

Spain's anti-terrorism laws allow the suspects to be held for at least two years before they are formally charged with a crime.

Spanish authorities initially blamed the Basque separatist group ETA for the Madrid bombings, but now believe Muslim extremists were responsible.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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