A security guard employed at Ukraine’s embassy in Madrid sustained non-serious injuries in the explosion that occurred on Wednesday, while was handling an unscanned letter bomb addressed to Kyiv’s ambassador to Spain, Serhil Pohoreltsev.
According to police sources, the letter contained an apparent homemade explosive concealed inside an envelope.
The staff member, who is believed to be a Ukrainian national, has reportedly suffered only light injuries to his right hand and has been taken to the Hospital Nuestra Señora de América, but was reportedly discharged shortly afterward.
According to Europe Press, the blast was reported to Spanish authorities by the embassy itself after which the area around the building was cordoned off by the Spanish National Police that has also employed canine units on the scene, placed extra security at the embassy, and additionally activated anti-terrorist protocols throughout the city.
Spain’s highest criminal court, the Audiencia Nacional, is reportedly investigating the blast as a terrorist act.
Ukraine’s foreign affairs ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko confirmed the ‘attack’ in a tweet, stressing that this explosion and whoever stands behind its staging won’t scare Ukrainian diplomats or halt their daily efforts to counter the Russian aggression and strengthen Ukraine.
In the aftermath of the incident, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba ordered the strengthening of the security of all Ukrainian embassies, asking at the same time his Spanish counterpart to take urgent measures to investigate the attack.
Later that evening, Spanish police deactivated a separate letter bomb in the northern Spanish city of Zaragoza, addressed to the weapons manufacturer Instalaza which manufactures the rocket launchers that Spain has sent as part of its military aid to Ukraine.
Aware of the explosion in Madrid earlier in the day, an executive at the factory called the police when the envelope no one seemed to recognize arrived soon after that. After the police determined the envelope contains explosives designed to explode upon opening, according to Rosa Serrano, the top Spanish government official in the Aragon region, the bomb squad that arrived immediately has established a security perimeter and deactivated the parcel in a controlled explosion.
Both the letter bomb at the embassy and the one that arrived in Zaragoza apparently had the same sender written and both came from Ukraine.