Letter bomb injures one at Ukraine's Madrid embassy, Kyiv ramps up security

Spanish police secure the area after a letter bomb explosion at the Ukraine's embassy in Madrid. PHOTO: AFP

MADRID/KYIV - A security officer at Ukraine’s embassy in Madrid was injured when he opened a letter bomb addressed to the ambassador on Wednesday, and Kyiv ordered a bolstering of security at all its representative offices abroad.

The security officer suffered light injuries and went under his own steam to hospital for treatment, Spanish government official Mercedes Gonzalez told broadcaster Telemadrid.

In the wake of the incident, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba ordered all Kyiv’s embassies abroad to “urgently” strengthen security, a ministry spokesman said.

The minister also urged Spain to “take urgent measures to investigate the attack”, the spokesman added.

The perpetrators, he added, “will not succeed in intimidating Ukrainian diplomats or stopping their daily work on strengthening Ukraine and countering Russian aggression.”

Russia invaded Ukraine nine months ago.

The letter, which arrived by ordinary mail and was not scanned, caused “a very small wound on the ring finger of the right hand” of the employee after he opened it in the garden of the embassy, Gonzalez said. It was addressed to Ambassador Serhii Pohoreltsev, she said.

Detectives were probing the incident, aided by forensic and intelligence investigators, Spanish police said.

Spain’s High Court will lead the investigation.

An officer at the embassy declined to comment.

Correos, the Spanish state-run postal company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the origin of the letter.

The residential area surrounding the embassy in northwestern Madrid was cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit was deployed to the scene.

Reuters footage showed scores of police officers, armed with assault rifles and blocking roads with vans, in the neighbourhood around the embassy. REUTERS

The residential area surrounding the embassy, in northwestern Madrid, was cordoned off. PHOTO: AFP

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