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Terrorism

Two al Qaeda suspects arrested in Spain

Spanish police say they have arrested two suspected members of al Qaeda's North African branch. Spain's Interior Ministry identified one of the men as being from Morocco, while the other is reportedly from Algeria.

"[Officers] today detained two suspected terrorists of al Qaeda," in a joint operation between France, Spain and Morocco, a spokesman for Spain's Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

It said the men were believed to be members of a radical cell connected to the North African terrorist organization, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The group has been accused of carrying out a number of attacks and kidnappings across the region.

According to the interior ministry, one man of Algerian descent was arrested in the north-eastern city of Zaragoza. The Moroccan national was arrested in the south-eastern city of Murcia.

The statement did not elaborate, but said additional details would be released later.

It is the latest in a series arrests of Islamist extremists in Spain over the last year. In August 2012, Spanish authorities said they were holding two Chechens and a Turk accused of being members of al Qaeda and planning an attack in Europe.

In March 2004 at least 191 people were killed in explosions on commuter trains in Madrid, linked to al Qaeda.

ccp/ipj (AFP, Reuters, AP)