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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 March, 2004, 10:59 GMT
Madrid attacks unsettle Arab press

Thursday's bomb attacks in Madrid are roundly condemned in many Arabic language papers in the Middle East.

But several editorial writers are concerned at what they see as an attempt to pin the blame on Arab terrorism before any hard evidence emerges about the identity of the perpetrators.

The series of attacks on Spain two days ago is truly another crime committed against humanity and the innocent... Regardless of whoever is behind the brutal attacks... they must be condemned.

Saudi Arabia Al-Watan

Are we back in the Stone Age? Is this the law of the jungle, where ferocious wolves attack without mercy?... An act to destroy life is an act of terrorism with neither nationality nor religion.

Commentary by Ahmad al-Rabi'i - London Al-Sharq al-Awsat

What draws our attention is the fact that those who are supporting the Eta separatist movement rushed to conclude that the 'Arab opposition' was responsible for the terrorist act in Spain. This is a clear attempt to brand Arabs with terrorism.

Jordan's Al-Ra'y

It is illogical to accuse al-Qaeda before getting accurate information... The Spanish government was aware of this and moved fast to blame Eta before anyone else. Perhaps al-Qaeda was only used to deceive Spanish and world public opinion.

Saudi Arabia Al-Riyadh

It is very regrettable that some analysts and leaders rushed to link this terrorist act with so-called "Muslim terrorists" without verifying the truth of this insane statement [claim of responsibility by Abu-Hafs al-Masri brigades]... This insane statement has soiled the name of Islam... Islam is innocent of these bombings.

Jordan's Al-Dustur

A mass demonstration was staged in the streets of Madrid in protest against these attacks. However, it reflected the resentment against the Spanish government's policy in supporting the war on Iraq... It is hoped that the Madrid bombings will open the eyes of the coalition, led by the US... so that it can look into its mistakes and find a way to rectify them.

London Al-Quds Al-Arabi

Arabs and Muslims cannot commit such an act. We therefore condemn the act and hope that the Spanish government will be able to find out the truth.

London Al-Arab al-Alamiyah

Terrorist acts everywhere, the latest being two days ago in Spain, prove that containment, not confrontation, will stop bloodshed in this world... the crazy policies being applied in many places worldwide bring more losses, destruction and disaster.

Saudi Arabia Ukaz

The brutal crime in Madrid two days ago confirms that terrorism is still unstoppable in cities everywhere... there are signs that this phenomenon, which has shed blood since the beginning of the third millennium, cannot be fully controlled in the future.

UAE's Al-Ittihad

Whether the bombings were carried out by Eta or al-Qaeda, the reality is that terrorism today is a deadly threat to all human beings... What is needed is prompt action by the UN to set up an international conference to combat terrorism, as well as drafting clauses for an international and comprehensive agreement to combat it.

Egypt's Al-Ahram

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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