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Spain Mourns Victims Of Madrid Bombings

Madrid, 24 March 2004 (RFE/RL) -- A number of world leaders today attended a state funeral in Madrid for the 190 victims of the 11 March train bombings in the Spanish capital.

Spain's King Juan Carlos and the rest of the royal family led thousands of mourners at the mass at Almudena Cathedral.

The archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela, described the attacks as "unspeakable cruelty" in a sermon during the service.

Before the service, Spain's Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero met with Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair. After the service, Zapatero is scheduled to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, French President Jacques Chirac, and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Authorities say Islamic extremists are the main suspects in the 10 near-simultaneous explosions in Madrid. The attack, which also injured more than 1,800 people, was the worst terrorist attack in a western country since the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States.

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