Flash: Madrid’s Atocha Station Evacuated after Bomb Alert

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Spanish police arrested a suspected suicide bomber at Madrid’s Atocha station this morning after he claimed to have left an explosive device on a train. Spanish daily ABC reports that the man said he had left a rucksack containing the device on board a train at the station and expressed a desire to kill himself in an attack.

The station was evacuated as security officials searched trains for the bomb, but police later reported the incident was a false alarm after the rucksack was found to contain only a water bottle.

The station suffered the worst terrorist attack in Spanish history in 2004 when Islamists targeted packed commuter trains, killing 191 and injuring 1,800.

The attack led to the shock defeat of the Spanish government in a General Election just days later and ushered in a socialist administration that withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq.