Madrid Train Bombings Victim Families Rail Court Acquittals

The families of victims killed in the 2004 Madrid train bombings were outraged yesterday at the Spanish national court’s acquittals of seven defendants and the perceived leniency in sentences handed down to those convicted of the worst terrorist attacks carried out by Islamic militants on European soil.

On March 11, 2004 ten backpacks loaded with nails and dynamite exploded on four commuter trains during morning peak hour in Madrid. The blasts ripped apart several carriages, killing 191 people and wounding 1,841 more.

Spanish authorities brought a total of 28 suspects to trial – 19 Arabs, mostly from Morocco, and 9 Spaniards. Seven other men believed to have been ringleaders blew themselves up in a Madrid apartment three weeks after the attacks as police closed in to arrest them.

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