Spain commemorates 2nd anniversary of train blasts

March 11, 2006 10:39


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Spain launched a somber remembrance of the Madrid terror bombings on Saturday's second anniversary of the attacks. The ceremony was the first of several scheduled for a day in which the normally festive atmosphere of a weekend in Spain will be replaced by heartbreaking memories of the morning of March 11, 2004. Ceremonies were planned at other stations also hit by suspected Islamic terrorists who claimed to have acted on al-Qaida's behalf. Christians, Muslims and Jews were to join together for an ecumenical prayer service outside Atocha station, praying in unison for peace. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is to attend a noontime wreath-laying ceremony, to be followed by five minutes of silence at the Forest of Remembrance, a grove of 192 olive and cypress trees set up at a Madrid park in memory of the bombing victims. In addition to the 191 killed on the trains, a special forces officer died three weeks later while trying to arrest suspects in the case. No one has been tried or even formally charged over the attack, but the judge leading the investigation said this week he expected to hand down the first indictments by April 10.

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