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Letter bomb found at U.S. Embassy in Spain, the sixth device targeted to high-profile officials in 24 hours

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Authorities defused a letter bomb at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday and said several other similar devices were sent out to high-profile government officials and embassies.

On Thursday, bomb diffusers safely dismantled the sixth such device that has appeared in recent weeks which is believed to be a part of a wave of actions taken to try and influence foreign policy, specifically the country’s ongoing involvement in the war between Russia and Ukraine.

The first of the suspicious and potentially dangerous devices was addressed to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Nov. 24.

A Spanish policeman stands guard near the US embassy in Madrid, on December 1, 2022, after they have received a letter bomb, similar to one which went off at the Ukrainian embassy. 

A Spanish policeman stands guard near the US embassy in Madrid, on December 1, 2022, after they have received a letter bomb, similar to one which went off at the Ukrainian embassy. 
(OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

Its discovery prompted additional security measures to be implemented and a heightened awareness of such devices. Five more were discovered.

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Similar devices have been found at the Spanish defense ministry, an air force base, a weapons manufacturer and the Ukrainian embassy, the last of which caused minor injuries to a security officer.

After the device was found, Spain’s Defence Minister Margarita Robles said it would not deter the country from supporting Ukraine and its “just cause” to fight back against Russia.

General view of a police device in the vicinity of the US Embassy in Madrid where a parcel bomb has been received, December 1, 2022, in Madrid, Spain. 

General view of a police device in the vicinity of the US Embassy in Madrid where a parcel bomb has been received, December 1, 2022, in Madrid, Spain. 
(Eduardo Parra/Europa Press via Getty Images)

The statement came as Robles was meeting with her Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov.

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“What must be very clear is that none of these deliveries or any other violent action will change the clear and firm commitment of Spain, NATO countries and the European Union to support Ukraine,” Robles said, Reuters reported.

Thursday’s package was found by security officials and ultimately handed over to the Spanish police to be safely detonated.

A military police car patrols at the main entrance of the Spanish air force base, in Torrejon de Ardoz near Madrid, on December 1, 2022, after Spain's security forces found a "suspect" package, a day after a letter bomb exploded at Ukraine's embassy in the Spanish capital. 

A military police car patrols at the main entrance of the Spanish air force base, in Torrejon de Ardoz near Madrid, on December 1, 2022, after Spain’s security forces found a “suspect” package, a day after a letter bomb exploded at Ukraine’s embassy in the Spanish capital. 
(OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

On Wednesday, the letter bombs were found at the Ukrainian embassy and the weapons manufacturer Instalaza, which has supplied arms to Ukraine. Three bombs were found on Thursday.

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The bombs come as Ukraine continues its war against Russia over its eastern territories. Russia militarily captured the Donbas, including the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, and other areas, but Ukrainian forces have regained some territories.

Russia first invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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