Spaniards observe five-minute silence for London attack victims
MADRID: The Spanish government observed five minutes of silence on Friday and ordered that flags be flown at half mast in memory of the victims of the deadly attacks on the London transport system, which recalled Spain’s worst terrorist attack just over a year ago.
In a statement the government said it wanted to demonstrate “its solidarity with the victims and the British people” and “condemn” Thursday’s attacks, which killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds. The gesture was mirrored in several cities, including the capital Madrid, and followed calls from the ruling Socialist Party and opposition conservative Popular Party.
The Spanish government also decided that flags on monuments and official buildings would be at half mast from 1:00 pm (1100 GMT) Friday until midnight (2200 GMT) Saturday. The attacks on the London Underground and a bus bore similarities to the 10 blasts on four packed early morning commuter trains last year in Madrid, which killed 191 people and injured 1,900.
Both the Madrid and London attacks took place at rush hour, and the explosions took place almost simultaneously, indicating that they were carefully coordinated. On Friday Scotland Yard chief Ian Blair said the London attacks bore all the hallmarks of the Al-Qaeda network, while the Madrid attacks have been blamed on mainly Moroccan Islamic fundamentalists. On Friday the Madrid municipal authorities said they would respond to a request from the British authorities for teams to help deal with the aftermath of the blasts.
“The Spanish capital knows, unfortunately, what is happening and what will happen in the next days,” in London, Madrid mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, as he headed for the British embassy in Madrid. afp