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    Spanish police arrest eight suspects in terror raids

    AP
    16.10.2008 - 13:30 | Son Güncelleme: 16.10.2008 - 13:30

    Spanish police arrested eight Moroccan men accused of harboring Islamic extremists and helping them flee the country, including several suspects in the Madrid terror bombings of 2004, the Interior Ministry said Thursday.

    Police made the arrests in pre-dawn raids Thursday in three northeastern towns near Barcelona, as well as in Madrid and Algeciras in the south.

     

    The arrests stemmed from a 2005 police operation in which Spain broke up a terror cell that allegedly recruited people to stage suicide attacks against U.S.-led forces in Iraq and other targets set by al Qaeda, the ministry said in a statement.

     

    The Moroccans arrested Thursday are suspected of giving shelter to at least five suspects in the March 11, 2004, train bombings in Madrid and helping them to flee the country.

     

    That attack killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,800.

     

    It was claimed by Muslim militants who said they had acted on behalf of al Qaeda to avenge the presence of Spanish peacekeeping troops in Iraq, but Spanish authorities say they have found no evidence that al Qaeda ordered or financed the attacks.

     

    Spanish investigators have said one of the fugitive suspects in the Madrid attacks, Moroccan Mohamed Afalah, is believed to have died in a suicide attack in Iraq in 2005.

     

    A confidential police report quoted in Spanish newspapers says another fugitive, Daoud Ouhnane of Algeria, died in Iraq while fighting coalition forces.

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