1 injured by small blast at Ukrainian embassy in Madrid

MADRID (AP) — Spanish police are investigating reports of a small blast at the Ukrainian Embassy in Madrid on Wednesday, the Interior Ministry said.

In a statement to media, the ministry said police were told an employee at the embassy was slightly injured while handling a letter.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said that the embassy in Madrid received an envelope as part of a mail delivery.

“During a check, the envelope exploded in the hands of the embassy’s manager,” Nikolenko told The Associated Press. “The manager received light injuries, he was hospitalized and is receiving the necessary medical assistance. His life isn’t in danger.”

Other embassy staff weren’t hurt, he said.

Spain’s Foreign Ministry said the Ukrainian ambassador to Spain, Serhii Pohoreltsev, told Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares in a phone conversation that it had been a letter bomb addressed to him but which was opened by an embassy worker.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba quickly ordered the strengthening of the security of all Ukrainian embassies. He also asked his Spanish counterpart to take urgent measures to investigate the attack.

“Whoever stands behind staging this explosion, they won’t succeed in scaring Ukrainian diplomats or halting their daily efforts to strengthen Ukraine and counter the Russian aggression,” Nikolenko said.

The ministry said the worker went unassisted to a health center. Spanish National Television said he was later released.

The National Police told the AP they received a call from the Ukrainian embassy at 1:20 p.m. that a letter had burst into flames while being handled by an employee.

National Police deployed officers to the embassy, set up a perimeter around the area, and its TEDAX bomb squad was working at the site, located in a northeastern part of Madrid.

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Associated Press writers Yuras Karmanau in Tallinn, Estonia, and Joseph Wilson in Barcelona, Spain, contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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