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Madrid Bomb Suspect Surrenders to Police, Says He's Innocent - 2004-04-17


A man from Bosnia-Herzegovina sought in connection with the March 11 commuter train bombings in Madrid has turned himself in to Spanish police.

Sanel Sjekirica flew to Spain late Friday from Sweden. He was detained at Madrid airport and taken to a police station for questioning.

Earlier, Mr. Sjekirica said in a radio interview he was eager to tell Spanish authorities that he had nothing to do with the bombings, but simply had once briefly rented an apartment together with one of the suspects, while studying in Madrid.

Last month's attacks have been depicted in Spain as an attack by Moroccan-based Islamic extremists. However, a Spanish magistrate released six Moroccans from detention Friday after clearing them of any involvement in the attacks.

Spanish officials say they arrested three other suspects Thursday - a Saudi, an Egyptian and another Moroccan. Interior Minister Angel Acebes says the men have ties with bombing suspects already in custody.

Spain is now holding 21 suspects in the case. The March 11 bombings killed 191 people - one of the worst terrorist strikes since the attacks on New York and Washington exactly two-and-one-half years earlier, on September 11, 2001.

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