Spain marks 10th anniversary of Madrid train bombings

By Tom Burridge BBC News, Madrid

King Juan Carlos greets victims' group leaders

King Juan Carlos greets victims’ group leaders

The families of the 191 people killed in the Madrid train bombings have attended a ceremony with Spain’s King Juan Carlos to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

Madrid’s Archbishop, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, performed the Mass at Almudena Cathedral.

Flowers have been laid and candles lit at the sites where bombs exploded on four commuter trains on 11 March 2004.

Another 1,800 people were hurt by the blasts at the height of the rush hour.

The seven suspected ringleaders in the attacks blew themselves up two weeks later, after police moved in on a flat in which they were hiding.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia met the leaders of victims’ associations on Tuesday before entering the cathedral for the commemorative Mass.

A ceremony was also held at Madrid’s Retiro Park, where 191 white balloons were released into the air and white flowers placed into trees, in memory of a day that has become known in Spain as 11M.

The president of the Victims of Terrorism Association, Angeles Pedraza, appealed to Spain’s political elite not to forget the them [sic]. “Do not abandon the victims,” she said.

Elsewhere, on a street above a railway track where one of the trains was bombed, bunches of flowers were attached to railings.

A note at Atocha station, where all four trains were heading, read simply: “You will always be in our memory; we will not forget you.”

Bouquets of flowers and candles were left in front of a monument to the dead at the station, which is Madrid’s largest.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was at the cathedral for Tuesday’s morning’s Mass,¬†tweeted a similar message: “My solidarity with the families and my thoughts with the victims of the worst attack in our country. Spain is with you.”

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