BY Staff Reporter

A NORTH African man was arrested yesterday outside the headquarters of the conservative Partido Popular in Palma after he claimed that he was carrying a bomb inside a blue-sports bag.

The incident happened yesterday at midday at the offices in central Palma just down from the Cathedral.
The man was detained by police who sealed off the area. The sports bag contained tools and a Spanish flag. However, National Police detectives cordon off the area and police with sniffer dogs searched the area .

According to the Partido Popular the man first visited their headquarters two weeks ago. On that occasion he told a party official that he wanted to make a statement and asked for the address of a local radio station.

According to a Partido Popular spokesperson he returned again yesterday carrying the sports bag and also two mobile phones. “He said that he was waiting for instructions from his superiors,” said the Partido Popular official who added that “it was difficult to understand him and he was speaking in rapid Spanish...” Later, the leader of the Partido Popular, Rosa Estaras said that the North African had told them that he had placed a whole series of bombs in the area which he intended to explode using his mobile telephone.

A search by police found no trace of any explosives.
A police spokesman said that the man had been taken into custody without a struggle and was now in police cells.
Security around Spanish politicians and even party offices has remained high since the Madrid bomb attacks and also the end of the ETA cease-fire. All of the senior Balearic politicians have bodyguards.

Yesterday afternoon there appeared to be a greater police presence around the office.


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