By CIARÁN GILES
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.
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 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.
Spain’s state news agency Efe cited unidentified police sources as saying the letter contained a home-made explosive and had been addressed to the ambassador but was opened by a security guard in the embassy’s garden.
Associated Press writers Yuras Karmanau in Tallinn, Estonia, and Joseph Wilson in Barcelona, Spain, contributed to this report.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.