Terrorists target Madrid inter-city track

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The Independent Online

Police found a bomb today on the high-speed rail line between Madrid and Seville.

Police found a bomb today on the high-speed rail line between Madrid and Seville.

Bomb-disposal experts alerted by a railway employee found up to 24 pounds of explosives, possibly dynamite, under a track about 40 miles south of Madrid on the line to the southern city of Seville.

The explosives were connected to a detonator with a 400ft cable, said the Interior Minister Angel Acebes. He said it was not immediately known who placed the bomb.

The line serves mainly Spain's AVE high-speed trains, which have a maximum speed of 190 mph, but a smaller number of slower trains also use it.

The armed Basque separatist group ETA has in the past targeted Spanish rail lines, but the discovery comes less than a month after 10 bombs ripped through four commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and injuring more than 1,800. The focus of that investigation is a Moroccan extremist group with links to al-Qaida. The bombs were detonated with cell phones attached to the explosives.

Acebes told reporters: "As we get information regarding those possibly responsible or details that move the investigation forward, we will give them to you."

Today is a busy travel day in Spain, with trains and highways full of people leaving home for Easter vacation.

Yesterday, police in northern Spain defused three letter bombs addressed to journalists in Madrid.

Acebes said the origin of the letters has not been determined, although the mechanism of the explosives is "similar to those that have been used by anarchist groups on previous occasions."

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