Staff reporter
SPAIN'S Minister for Defence, Federico Trillo, yesterday said that the terrorists responsible for the bomb which killed 47 Iraqis earlier in the day “was the same enemy the Iraqi people have been living in fear of for so many years.” Trillo was in Palma to address the Partido Popular faithful as campaigning for the general election gathers pace.
But he had to admit that Saddam Hussein loyalists “are still causing a great deal of tension” in Iraq.
However, he said that perhaps the biggest threat now to the Iraqi people and allied troops are the cells of Al Qaeda members and other renegade terrorists setting up in the region. “It's deeply upsetting and unforgiveable when you see attacks like those of today and yesterday which involve Iraqis attacking Iraqis, this is the work of real terrorists,” the Minister said, adding that he has no doubt about which terrorist organisations are behind this latest wave of attacks. “We're dealing with the slaughter of innocent Iraqis, but we know who the culprits are, they're the very same people who have made the Iraqis suffer all these years.” Five Spanish troops were also injured by a bomb blast yesterday afternoon, a Guardia Civil commander recently died after being shot while on patrol in Iraq, but the Minister said that the Spanish government is as fully committed as ever to the mission in Iraq. One of the Spanish nationals being held at Guantanamo Bay, Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed, is to be brought back to Spain to stand trial.
Trillo gave his assurances yesterday that Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed will be returned to Spain under maximum security, as agreed with the United States defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld last Friday. The Minister said that “with all probability” Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed will be handed over to the Supreme Court and that it is the Supreme Court judges which should decide whether Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed has committed a crime or not. The Defence Minister started his visit to Palma yesterday by inspecting the Balearic garrison troops at Almundaina Palace in the centre of Palma and holding talks with regional armed forces commanders.

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