201 people were killed and 1,500 injured in the blasts on several rush-hour trains on 11 March.
European countries are holding emergency security meetings as suspicion increases over Islamic militants involvement in the Madrid attacks.
Five suspects - three Moroccans and two Indians - have been remanded in custody by a Spanish judge while investigations continue.
What is your reaction to Spain's terrorist attacks? Is it possible to prevent future atrocities? Do you worry about further attacks?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
I find it extraordinary that Tony Blair and the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, deny a link between the participation of Australia and Spain in the War on Terror and the events in Madrid and Bali!
I would like to send my condolences to Spain, a country I love. The people of Madrid have suffered for all of us, it could have happened anywhere. Whoever did this for whatever reason and whatever the rights and wrongs of their cause, it is unacceptable by any standard of humane behaviour.
A Williams, Liverpool, UK
Kudos to the Spanish people for voting to fight terrorism on their own terms! Blindly following another country's misguided efforts won't work in the long term.
Arri London, UK/US
Those who kill people shall be found and punished. Spain is a neighbour, a friend, and sister. Both countries are linked historically. Spain stood by Morocco many times and vice versa. As a Moroccan - my deepest sympathy to Spaniards and everyone who lost someone in the bombing. Casablance (Spanish name, which means white house) was bombed few months ago and now Madrid. I feel as bad, as angry, and as sad. I even feel worse for Spaniards due to higher loss. It is just terrible. My deepest sympathy. I want Spaniards to know that they are not alone.
Az, Casablanca, Morocco
Although Spain is very divided in political terms, Madrid bombings have proved something that no Spanish man or woman doubts: we are united. It has been wonderful to see how everyone helped during those terrible days.
Raul Martin, Logroño, Spain
My deepest condolences to the people of Madrid and Spain. We will think of you in our prayers.
Alex S, Belgrade, YU
One thing positive from this massacre is the withdrawal of Spain from the crazy occupation of Iraq.
Natalie Maamari, Tripoli, Lebanon
I think the people who did this are cowards. If they are against the Spanish government joining the US in Iraq, then they should bomb the Military and not innocent people which includes women and children. Coming to this subject of Suicide bombers, it will never end but keep on increasing if the Moderate Religious leaders do not come out to refute the claim by extremist that those who sacrifice themselves will a find place in heaven for them and their families. Since their present life is difficult they therefore look forward to the next life believing the extremist scholars.
Richard Kam, KL Malaysia
No politics, no rhetoric; just prayers and sympathy for the families and for Spain
Shyam Vyas, Morristown, NJ, USA
What happened in Spain was a tragedy but let us not forget why it happened. It happened because there is a new breed of terrorist in this world who do not value life and want to kill anyone and everyone associated with "the western world". It's that simple. Until we all realize that these people don't care what we say or do, and they certainly don't care about peace, love or anything else, we are only being naive to think there is something that will solve this problem other than fighting back.
Morris, NYC, USA
My deepest sympathies to the families and people of Madrid. You will walk with confidence again. And cheers to you for standing up and voting out a government that refused to listen to the majority voice of its populace. With any luck, it will soon be time for regime change over here. Big hugs for Spain.
Kat, New York, U.S.
I understand the devastation all too well. Reading posts of people who gave support to us here in NY back on September 11 definitely made me feel less like it was the world against NYC. My thoughts and prayers are with those in Spain who have lost loved ones and who suffer from the stress and sorrow of living in fear. You are not alone. Violence perpetuates violence. How do we get our leaders to understand that?? This madness must end.
Erin McMaugh, New York, NY
"We've found her! She's alive!" After 10 hours of hell, 10 hours of searching, that was the best thing I've ever heard in my life...
I just wanted to say THANKS for all your support. I've never been so proud of being Spanish.
I feel lucky; Esther is still bravely fighting for her life in hospital. But we've lost 201 friends in the train of life.
For her, for all the victims and their families, for all us...PEACE!
Elisa, Madrid, Spain
In his statement, Ben Corris asserts that "the new Spanish government's decision to pull out of Iraq is potentially devastating. The terrorists have won. They have successfully changed Spain's foreign policy." In fact the exact opposite is true. I would suggest comparing American foreign policy pre and post 9/11. What Spain has done, is returned to their pre-9/11 foreign policy. They've seen the error in allowing terrorists to dictate this policy. I would also like to add that my heart goes out to the people of Madrid in this difficult time.
Craig Bell, Toronto, Canada
No words... and the situation is serious.
We could be the next. My country, I mean... Milan, Rome, I get the underground every day and I am worry because I don't believe that our government are defending us in the right way.
Adriana, Milano, Italy
I am feeling very sad for what has happened and I will pray for all the victims and will pray this never happens. This is from me and my family concerned about the victims of the attack.
Devashish Pandey, Kathmandu, Nepal
My condolences to all the families who have lost their loved ones and hope the injured people recover soon. Last week Spanish people showed that we can fight for a good reason. I hope they find the responsible people who did this.
Marina, Barcelona, Spain
My sincere condolences to the people of Spain. But this type of thing happened in my country for 20 years but nobody really cared.
Shanoi Fernando , Sri Lanka
May God be with the people who lost family members in Madrid. Being American I am very disappointed in our media's low coverage of the Madrid bombings. The American media right now has an "I told you so" attitude and they do not show any grievance. But I believe that the people of Spain and Europe should stand up with the US and UK to take the war to the Terrorist before any more people die.
Leonardo, New Hampshire, USA
While I express deep sympathy to the innocent victims of the atrocity and insane terrorist act of violence, I congratulate the good sense of brave Spanish people in rejecting the belligerent policy. Violence can never be won by violence.
Komal Chitracar, Kathmandu, Nepal
My prayers are with the Spanish people. The violence and killing has to stop.
Sharon Neblett, Carshalton, UK
My heart goes out to the people of Spain, especially to those who lost loved ones. I try to understand the motives of the terrorists, but it's impossible. I will never understand what could possibly be gained by murdering innocent and defenceless people.
My sincere condolences to the people of Spain. May the terrorists be caught and punished.
My heart goes out to the victim families and my most sincere request to the Spanish authorities "To follow the truth, wherever it may lead", a maxim by Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of this once great country that failed at finding the truth after 9/11.
Phil, Santa Cruz, California
Our hearts go out to all the people scarred by this tragedy. Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, whose lives will never be the same again because a bunch of "human beings" decided on violence was a means as a means to express their grievances. Terrorists, no matter what their cause have no justification whatsoever for acts of this nature. Espana, stay strong.
Chinedu, London, UK
If the Madrid attacks really are revenge by al-Qaeda for the war in Iraq, that suggest strongly that al-Qaeda and the old Iraqi regime were closely, if secretly, working together. What worse al-Qaeda attacks would have happened if that regime had not been removed?
Jack, Brussels, Belgium
A parent must never have the burden of burying their own child. Although after the horrific attacks on the innocent people of Madrid, for some this burden has become reality. Bless all those trying to get back their lives together again. We are here to support you all.
Andy P, Belfast, Ireland
Thanks, thanks, thanks everybody. Just thanks, because I can't find the words to explain how Spanish people feel about all your support. Thanks. I cried when I listened to the national Spanish anthem at Buckingham Palace. Thanks, thanks, thanks.
Emilio, Madrid, Spain
It is one thing for millions to stand in the streets and condemn terrorism. It seems to be quite another to elect a government that is committed to actually doing something about it.
Andrew Walden, Hilo, Hawaii, USA
What happened to Spain is a real tragedy. Let us not be tempted to politicize our own views at their expense.
I was moved by the Spaniards' solidarity in their unprecedented march across the country for peace and against terrorism without demanding things like retaliation, etc.
J Hsiang, Hong Kong
To the brave people of Spain, we are all with you. I hope these criminals will be brought to Spanish justice. All Arabs love, admire, and respect Spain and the Spanish people. Please don't let al-Qaeda, Bush, or the Mossad come between us.
Salim Al-Andalusi, Syria/UAE
Al Qaeda was serious when they promised more terror for USA and her allies. What is USA going to do now in terms of providing security to its so called coalition? With this attack in Madrid I can see the breaking of the USA led coalition. Now you know why France and Germany did not join forces!
Chandran Sukumaran, Port Dickson, Malaysia
Even days later, I still cannot believe the horrific events that have occurred in Madrid. It makes me feel physically sick to know such pure evil preys on innocent lives. My heart and thoughts go out to all the people of Madrid, and of Spain as well. Stay strong in this time of awful grieving.
Amy, Los Angeles, CA
It is easy to say that Spain's involvement in "The War On Terror" is the reason for the terrorists targeting the good and decent people of Madrid. However taking a stand against George Bush's ill conceived war would not have guaranteed immunity either. The terrorists allegedly quote Spain as a "crusader" country, which would indicate a grudge held for centuries. Besides the psychopaths who engage in this sort of conduct have no regard for reality anyway. Australia has been mentioned as a "target" for Al Qaeda because of action against a Muslim country - East Timor. Yet they neglect the fact that East Timor is a predominantly Roman Catholic state invaded 25 years ago by a military dictatorship. We all, in the west, are targets of these uncivilised terrorists who devalue the good works of Islam and seek only to sow destruction and hate because of their own perversions. All our hearts go out to the Spanish people in this time of tragedy.
John Barber, Melbourne, Australia
A small group of sick individuals that would take innocent lives will never gain whatever it is they want. The civilized world will just intensify the search for them. I am sorry Spain is deciding to pull troops out of Iraq. To intensify the search is what is needed. In Mexico many people are saddened by your loss in Madrid and we share your grief.
Scott Wilson, Cancun, Mexico
Attacks such as these are the unfortunate and dramatic signs that we need to all work together and respect each other across national and cultural divides to establish lasting peace. The leaders of Europe - and the world - can show the way and commit themselves to cooperation and development. Remember: one nation or man alone can start a war but it takes cooperation to make peace.
Jeroen Lasure, Brussels, Belgium
George Bush says that America is safer now that his "War on Terrorism" is underway. The US soil may be protected, but it is at the cost of setting up proxy target abroad. The Bali bomb struck at Australian allies and the Madrid bomb killed 200 Spaniards. Why should terrorists risk attacking the US at home when they can target its allies abroad ? Not to forget, either, the thousands of US soldiers shipped into Iraq and Afghanistan.
Joe Ryan, Chartres, France
I would like to reply to people looking for relatives that Spanish Newspaper websites have information regarding victims of this terrorist attack. I just checked the list in www.elmundo.es, I hope you do not find relatives or friends in any of these.
Raul Pinto, High Wycombe, England
I campaigned against the Afghanistan and Iraq war. However the new Spanish governments decision to pull out of Iraq is potentially devastating. The terrorists have won. They have successfully changed Spain's foreign policy. This can only result in a renewed belief in terrorism, which will in turn result in more atrocities.
Spain doesn't want a socialist government. The Spanish people don't deserve a socialist government. This is the worst result we could have had. But, we had to punish President Aznar for his involvement in the invasion of Iraq.
Robert Whittaker Mort, London, UK
We voted out the government because they were wrong. We aren't afraid of the terrorists and didn't do "what they wanted". They want us to live in fear. We are not afraid, We are annoyed. Annoyed at the soon-to-be-former government because they put us in an illegal war. Annoyed at the terrorists because they go against human lives. The only way to fight this is together, in the United Nations, not making personal crusades like the USA with the back up of the UK and Spain did. Don't forget yesterday it was the people speaking. We're not idiots influenced, we're people who want to live in peace and are willing to show it.
Nau, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
I have sat here thinking "What is it that an Islamist terrorist group wants to achieve?" I can believe that some of these people are hooked on violence for its own sake but what is the long term objective of al-Qaeda? Do they have a complaint about the World as it is and if so how do they want to make it a better place, (I assume that they do not want to make it a worse place) and will they let us in on the secret so that we all know what they believe in because I haven't a clue and am left with the conclusion that they have either made a pact with the Devil or they get a buzz from slaughter.
Keith, Rayleigh, England
What have we done?. Pulling out troops from Iraq? Doing that we made ourselves submissive to their evil work. Encouraging them to go further against UK, Aus, US. and the allies. I think it's time for us to help the allies.
I live in Kenya, a country that has borne more than its fair share of terrorist atrocities. It is heart-rending to see the innocents whose lives are destroyed by terrorist activities. But it is also not difficult to look at the other side of the coin. Why is there so much terrorism in today's world? Why isn't there more justice in the world today? Terrorism is despicable and can never be justified or explained away. But the same applies to injustice and oppression. And, ultimately, addressing terrorism means addressing injustice as well.
Peter Wanyonyi, Nairobi, Kenya
This atrocity should remind us all how terribly precarious life really is we tend to take for granted both our own lives and the people who we love. Don't take anyone for granted, and live each day to the full, none of us really know how many we have left. My sincere condolences to everyone to everyone who lost someone to this pointless act of random hatred and violence.
Colin Wright, UK
Where is the outrage from the Muslim community? Where are the Muslim leaders to say "Not in our name" or "not in the name of Islam or Allah"? Where is the outrage?
Peter Maher, San Francisco, USA
I observed the 3 minute silence today at 11am but was saddened by the vast majority of people in my office who didn't do so as well - presumably because they didn't know or care about it. 200 people died, over 1200 were injured. What must it take for us to care about each other?
ML, London, England
In the past three years, we have been stunned by terrorist attacks which have killed thousands of people in US, Bali (Indonesia), and Turkey. And this year another attacks have happened in Spain. As an Indonesian, I strongly condemn these attacks. Whoever did these must be punished and justice will prevail! My thoughts and prayers are with the Spanish people. Let us now stand united - hand in hand to prevent such attacks in future. May God bless all of us!
Edward Santoso, Indonesia
I live 10 minutes from Atocha station and was on the Metro when it happened. The thought that it could easily have been me rightly fills me with a fear I will live with forever. The consequences of this can only be negative and should it turn out to be Islamists, it will only serve to fuel tension and racism between all Muslims and the west. If it was al-Qaeda I think it shows us all the consequences of a selfish war which nobody wanted. I hope Aznar (and Bush and Blair) cannot sleep at night.
Simon Harwood, Madrid, Spain
In my opinion, it was al-Qaeda because Eta attacks come with a pre-warning. Only al-Qaeda has the capacity to destroy many families, the country's mentality and to influence the national elections. I think that Spain is a strong country and it will recover its capacities quickly. This attack has gained the respect of all European countries.
Miguel Bértolo, Guarda, Portugal
What happened in Spain was awful. There is no way to stop this kind of thing happening though. Terrorist's will always find a way around security to carry out atrocities. I can't help feeling the US, Bali/Australia, Spain have all been got, does anyone else think the UK has got to be next on al-Qaeda's shopping list?
This recent terrible and dreadful terrorist event makes us so afraid, so insecure about our future that it seems that our life can be in danger at any time and in any place.
Alessandra, Sabrina e Barbara, Latina, Italy
I'm a Spaniard living in Brighton, England. I feel so proud of Spain and the Spanish people's reaction, how everyone helped to each other in such a horrible situation. I'm on the internet checking the latest news and can't stop crying and feeling so sorry!
Sonia Olalla, Brighton, England
It seems to me that regardless if the group behind this was ETA or Al-Qaeda extremists the goal was to influence the national elections. It was a spectacular success in both spreading fear throughout Europe and producing the desired electoral results. Mr. Aznar's party may well have deserved to lose for defying the Spanish public in its support of the Iraq war, but it is extremely disheartening to see the political goals of terrorists obtained so easily. I pray for the families of all the victims of this act of mass murder. I hope the Spanish, and larger European community, will react with solidarity and strength in fighting these terrorists.
Marcus, Austin, USA
It is sad the Spanish electorate didn't give the ruling party a vote of confidence, whatever their differences. Strange Al-Qaeda chose to act a day before the elections. Sinister in fact. The Spanish people took the bait. This will give further succour to the terrorists of all persuasions. The peoples of America and Europe divided and fearful. Just what they want.
G Speirs, Mandurah,West Australia
With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that Aznar and Rajoy made a grave error in not tackling the issue of the Iraq war openly in the campaign. It turned out they were sitting on an electoral time-bomb themselves. For many of those eleven million people on the streets Friday evening in the pouring rain to show sympathy with the Madrid victims, the last time they did anything similar was to protest against the Iraq invasion. A moment's thought about human nature will tell you that people would inevitably form a strong and direct association between such highly emotional moments in their lives, and that this would influence their behaviour, i.e. their votes. Aznar and his government had powerful strategic arguments for acting with Spain's allies, and for overriding public opinion in doing so. But these arguments were never been put clearly or convincingly to the people. As with the terrorist threat, defence was tragically neglected.
Royston Snart, Andalusia, Spain.
If people voted out the Spanish government because of the attack, then they've done exactly what the terrorists wanted them to do; punish a government that fought against terrorism and replace it with one that has always been opposed to fighting the terrorists.
The bombings were a devastating tragedy but in my view by ousting Aznar the Spanish people have shown a green light to the terrorists. They should have stood up to them and shown that their evil wins them nothing.
Sue Wilson, Macclesfield, England
I expect a change in our government today, most of Spanish people were against the war, and we are all paying the price. It's very delighted to see so much people crying for freedom and peace! Bye bye Aznar!
Eli, Castellar del Vallès, Spain
I am very upset at the Socialist party politicizing the tragedy. Ideological terrorist like al-Qaeda will always find an excuse to attack a country. They attacked Turkey despite its opposition to the war. So instead of trying to understanding what we have done wrong to displease them, we must go after them in a show of strength, and not to succumb to their demands in a sign of weakness.
Juan, Madrid, Spain
Seeing so many of you in the streets was the most powerful and uplifting message. Do not let anyone make you afraid. We are so many - in the billions - and the terrorists so very very few.
Storm, Atlanta, USA
First of all I would like to thank all the world for giving us your support.
Pablo, A Coruña, Spain
Thank you for all of you whose have shown love and comprehension with our pain.
Alicia, Madrid, Spain
It's really easy to kill people. We all know that. This can happen anywhere. It has happened in Spain because the government did not listen to more than 90% of Spanish people who were against the war in Iraq. Now we are paying the price. Also 90% of Basque people are against ETA and 65% of Basque people are against independence.
José I Fernández, Santander, Spain
Last night 3,000 people demonstrated outside the PP's headquarters in Madrid demanding the truth about these bombings. The Spanish Intelligence Service has said there is a 99% probability of them being Islamic attacks. The ruling party (PP) still says there is a chance it was ETA. A video tape has been found claiming responsibility by al-Qaeda. The ruling party still says there is reasonable doubt that it could be ETA.
The man who would be president for the PP ruling party had the absolute gall to say on national television last night that these demonstrations demanding the truth were 'illegal' and 'anti democratic' and requested the parties responsible to refrain from organising such meetings. He has put in an official complaint to the electoral committee, in a blatant preparation to annul these elections should the vote not go his way. I hope that Spaniards all over the country have the clarity of vision to vote out these extremely dangerous 'politicians'.
Pippa, San Sebastian, Spain
The militants wanted to turn the Spanish public against their government's stand on the Iraq war. They have succeeded. Unfortunately this may encourage more terrorism.
Bill Carter, Asansol, West Bengal, India
May Peace prevail! To the people of Spain and those of other nationalities who suffered in Madrid, our thoughts and payers with the strongest hopes for justice and peace, are with you. Islam strictly condemns and prohibits injustice, terrorism and suicide and is entirely about peace for all. The Muslim people world wide stand firm with you against terrorism and seek justice to those who committed this atrocity. Be hopeful, you are not alone.
Farhana, London, England
My family, friends and I are so saddened and grief stricken by this barbarian act of the terrorists. They have created sorrow, sadness and loss... for the families of the victims of the insane bombing in Madrid. Words cannot explain our deepest sympathy and sadness.
Mehran Maskouki, Tehran, Iran
The Spanish people want immediate resignation of the Government because all the Spanish people were against the war, and now we have 200 people killed.
I'm sad, I'm tired, but I'm hopeful. Because yesterday, millions were in the streets, united. Because of all your messages of support from all around the world. Because I've never seen so many people trying to help.
Inés Revuelta, Madrid, Spain
Most of my family lives in Madrid and two of my aunts and cousin take the train to Atocha every morning. My aunts had late shifts that day and my cousin didn't go to university because the teachers were on strike. I am so grateful for having them and so terribly sorry for those who have lost their relatives and friends.
Spain is in so much grief these days that it is almost impossible to think or talk about anything else but this horrific terrorist attack.
Thanks to everybody around the world for your concern and support.
Maria Carpallo, La Linea de la Concepcion, Spain
Yesterday my wife and I stood out in the rain with millions of Spaniards to protest against terrorism. Among the huge crowds, the void left by the 200 who were not there was palpable. We Madrileños appreciate the solidarity of those who demonstrated by the hundreds or thousands in cities around the world.
Luis Vivanco, Madrid, Spain
I was one of the demonstrators in Madrid yesterday. I had never seen anything like it, all the shops closed at 6 p.m., floods of silent people under the sound of the of the helicopter blades trying to join the demonstration; I have no words to describe it. I could only walk about 300 metres in about two hours. Thank you to people all over the world and the writers of these messages who have supported us.
Sergio Martinez, Madrid, Spain
I'm British but live here in Sevilla. Emotivated by the attacks, last night I joined the Sevillian people in the streets of the city to express my anger and remorse. This city is normally happy and full of life. Last night a cloud of sadness hung above us as the rain emulated our tears. My heart goes out to the victims and their families and I hope the world never has to suffer the same ever again.
Stephanie Burgess, Sevilla
Why?? I have a number of Spanish friends here in Edinburgh and in Madrid and I spent a fantastic New Year in Madrid a few months ago. I would just like to say to the Spanish people you are not alone.
Murdo Wallace, Edinburgh, Scotland
In the current world climate, any attack such as the Madrid bomb should be considered from the point of view of who benefits most. It is unlikely that ETA was responsible, since to carry out such an attack would be like signing their own death warrant. Also, as others have said, it makes no sense for "Arab terrorists" to kill ordinary Spaniards since Spaniards were the most vocal of European citizens in their rejection of the war on Iraq.
Pepe, Granada, Spain
I am one of the many expats who have made Spain their home and so have been very moved by the acts of last Thursday. However, I experienced something that I have never seen before and that was resentment. I was actually refused to be served at a shop that I often use with the proprietor telling me that it was closed to English until maybe Thursday. He obviously like others holds the war with Iraq and the fact Spain was drawn into it responsible for what happened in Madrid.
Len Chance, Pilar de la Horadada, Spain
Spanish people are shocked, angry, confused and scared. Nobody can actually take in what has happened: why have so many innocent people been killed? How can there be humans capable of such a cruel, miserable and heartless act?
Ariadna, Madrid, Spain
When will people realise that hurting innocent people will not solve any problems? My heart and prayers go to the people of Spain.
Will Bemer (Native American Sioux), Montana, USA
I am a Gibraltarian, currently living in Australia. Words cannot describe my disgust as to what has happened in Madrid. I join other Gibraltarians in standing by our Spanish neighbours during this hard time.
Mark Benzimra, Gibraltar
I'm a British university student currently doing a work placement in Madrid. In work the main feeling here is "it could have been me". It doesn't come as a huge surprise that this has happened as it is just before the elections. However the gravity of it is disturbing. I'm now afraid to go anywhere where there will be vast amounts of people for fear of another attack. How many people have to die before they realise that what they're doing is wrong?
Sonia Cansado Jackson, Madrid, Spain
There are no words to express the disgust and anger I feel about what has happened. As a young adult with a whole life ahead, events like these make me wonder what kind of world we live in.
Diana Gimenez, Madrid, Spain
I have travelled extensively in Spain, beautiful people, beautiful country. I have a son in Australia, a Portuguese daughter-in-law, a son in London, England, they all know and love Spain. Our prayers are with the Spanish people at this sad time.
June Meredith, Halifax Nova Scotia Canada
It was a cowardly act. The killers haven't got heart. It's a pity because they seem not to be people. They are animals.
Pilar Redondo, Vilanova i la Geltru (Barcelona)
Re: earlier post. (link) DAUGHTER FOUND! She had taken wrong train and had to double back towards Prado....missed the bombings. I am so grateful to have her and so sorry for those who have lost the lights of their lives. With deep sadness, I mourn.
Holly Taylor, Walnut Creek, Calif USA
I feel such deep sorrow and bewilderment at this dreadful loss of innocent life. Every person killed or injured was loved and will be missed and mourned. Be brave Spain, the hearts of the world are with you at this time. We send you love, and hope for an end to hatred and senseless killings
Thank you very much for all your support, we really need it, not only with words but with the unity of all countries against terrorism. This could happen in any other place in the world, and with unity I think we will defeat them.
Aurelio de la Puerta, Granada, Spain
The Spanish press give an horrific graphic account of the carnage. These terrorists must be defeated at all costs. I have a young family and we live in Spain and they ask me why this has happened. I have no answer. We are all numb with shock, our prayers are with the victims, why?
Billy Sim (ex Scotland), Murcia. Spain
Is there a web site in Spain where we can offer messages of support and condolence at this terrible time? Or donations to help with relief work?
David Sallitt, Scarborough, North Yorkshire
I was trying to avoid the images of Madrid for the past day, reading only text accounts, Wasn't sure if I could handle the images of another mindless attack on people just trying to live THEIR lives. After seeing the Television reports and seeing print images, I am mixed with sorrow, loss, numbness and a most of all, I can think only about is those left behind by yesterdays murders. My heart goes out to Madrid.
Patrick Daly, New York, USA
Madrid and all of Spain is known to all for it's warmhearted, vivacious, and artistic people. My heart goes out to all, especially those who have lost close loved ones from this horrific act. From someone who was at the WTC on 9/11, stand tall. The whole world is by your side.
Mark Lutnes, New York City, USA
Hi. I'm also shocked about what has happened in Madrid. I can't understand how somebody can do such a horrible thing. I hope that we will know who did it soon. In my opinion it wasn't ETA. They are killers, but I think they are not able to do this. If it was Al Qaeda, I think that our president should feel responsible for what has happened, because people shouted on the streets against the Iraq war. God bless all the victims and families
Alex, Barcelona, Spain
Arabic terrorists? No way! Why would they attack the general population of Spain - most of whom opposed the war in Iraq - instead of official targets? And just before election time, too: how convenient. Consider the detonators and a tape of the Koran found in a van and ask yourself: is this credible? Do terrorists - does ANY terrorist group - go around planting evidence against themselves? It's a frame-up.
Tom Kennedy, Montpellier, France
The Islamic group which claimed "credit" for the bombings spoke about Spain being one of the "crusader" countries - very frightening if they're trying to get revenge for things which happened more than 500 years ago. Especially with all the rest of the history of Europe in the Middle East. And what exactly does ETA want - to be a separate country? Lots of crazy people out there.
Here in Madrid there is a multicultural community with people from many countries all around the world. My friends are Arabs, Latin-American, European, Asian and African. The target of these animals of Al Qaeda is to break our peaceful community. But you cannot break it, you will be captured by police or by the Spanish people. We are looking for you now, so take care.
Jesus Gonzalez, Madrid, Spain
Like many people of Spain, I'm shocked and in pain. I actually wish I could cry to let it out... Let me say that no one's suffering should be used to justify any wars, like some Americans have said in their comments here. War, like terrorism, is based on terror and it's always the poorest and most innocent people that suffer the most. Let's not forget anybody's pain.
Rocío, Murcia (Spain)
The attack on the innocent in Madrid is an attack on all of us, a declaration of barbarity and inhumanity by those who carried it out. Let us now mourn the dead, pray for their families and comfort the injured. Then let us turn to the cowards who did this and bring them to justice. Let us never forget the victims of Madrid, Bali, New York or elsewhere they have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we all enjoy.
C. Palmieri, London, UK
In as much as this horror is comprehensible for all of us who are looking from outside and faraway, we grieve. What I would like to say is that Latin America is feeling this tragedy more closely and intensely. I trust that out of this incomprehensible deed of hatred, greater understanding and greater solidarity between the peoples of Latin America and Spain will occur.
Diego Ballivian Granier, La Paz, Bolivia
The only thing I can say to the people all around the world that is trying to help us is THANK YOU... Thank you because you are sharing our pain... I want to say to Matt Newnham from Cape Town (below) that today at 19:00 local time in Spain we will go out to the streets with our heads up and thanks for the help that everybody is giving to us in these hard days. THANK YOU
Rafael , Madrid, Spain
I have heard people say that it Spain's fault for siding with the USA on Iraq, but more than 60 countries have sided with US. Why don't people remember the attempted Christmas bombing is Strasbourg or other attempted bombing by Muslims. This is a war and please do not try to explain away psychotic behaviour. We must be prepared for more such attacks.
Christos Economakis, Geneva, Switzerland
I feel great sympathy for those affected by the events in Madrid. My feeling is that the depth of media coverage will only encourage those responsible. Much as it may appear heartless, I am firmly convinced that the actions of the coalition governments and the coverage by the media only serves to promote the activities of these nefarious people. Perhaps the solution to this global terrorism is not to act hastily, but instead to act within the bounds of the law - and for the media to not provide these groups with the exposure that they so desperately seek.
I was horrified and very saddened when I heard of the bomb blasts in Madrid yesterday. How very terrible that innocent people should suffer as a result of the actions of heartless terrorists. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Madrid and the rest of Spain. May God comfort you.
Helen Dasson, Rochester, New York
This is a terrible time for the Spanish people. I lived in Madrid for a couple of months in 2001 and used Atocha everyday. I can't imagine how it feels now. I just hope that the people I know in Madrid and from Madrid are all ok. My heart goes out to Spain and the people of Madrid in this horrible time.. Cuidate a todos, nunca olvidar la gente perdidos x
Martin Clarke, Cardiff, Wales UK
The televised coverage of the aftermath gave a good sense of the barbarity of the event, however it does not reveal the true extent of the tragedy: for every innocent person killed there is a father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, whose lives are scarred beyond belief. If the terrorists were aware of the sheer scale of the devastation that they wreak upon the lives of thousands of entirely innocent people, maybe this madness might stop.
Paul McLernan, Scotland
It felt like 9/11 to me again, scrambling to call my relatives who live in Madrid. My aunt decided to take an earlier train that day, had she taken the usual, who knows what would have happened. My condolences goes out to all the families who lost their loved ones. The hispanic community of North Carolina deeply sympathizes with those in mourning.
Wladimir Perdomo, North Carolina, USA
To stop terrorism there is no way better than stopping injustice around the world. No cause can justify what happened in Madrid, and what is happening elsewhere around the world. We should wake up from our druggy state triggered by the partialness of the media, specially the ones talking about democracy and freedom. All my condolences for the families of this horrific disgusting act.
Sweiss, Madrid, Spain
I was shopping today in a Shopping Centre in Malaga. A large superstore surrounded by lots of little cafe's and shops.
At 12 noon the people there mourned those murdered yesterday in the Madrid train blasts. The shoppers left their trolleys, the workers left their work, the little shops shut their doors, shoppers and workers as one left the shopping centre and stood outside in complete silence for a minute. The only people remaining in the store were the security guards.
Then everyone went back to work or shop and the shoppers applauded the workers. This is a country in mourning. The people killed and injured were not top cats - they were shop and office workers, cleaners and hairdressers, ordinary people doing what they must to put food on the table. Killing them could not help anyone. Tonight we will light candles and say a prayer for those who were murdered and for their poor family's.
Carol Moss, Malaga, Spain
The Spanish people are reacting like senores. I hope that they won't try to put the blame on Aznar like Joseph from Barcelona seems to want to. The blame lies with the bombers, no one else. I pray that they see that what they did was wrong. Let's all remember to be better than the bombers - they hate us, we must hate the sin but not the sinners.
David Hughes, Estepona, Spain
We don't need to be massacred to understand the nonsense of the war on Iraq, Palestine, Chechnya and Afghanistan.... and we don't need to be blamed by the Spanish people who are suffering like us, the Basque people. Eta is not behind these attacks, it will never ever attack the working class in such a indiscriminate way. From our country, I want to express my solidarity with the people of Madrid, and be sure that every single Basque mourns the victims of the attacks.
Garikoitz, Bilbao, Basque Country
I took the Cercanias train today and looked at my fellow passengers - Madrileños and foreigners like me. Everyone looked sad but no terrorist will ever break the warmth and spirit that has always been Madrid and is the reason we live here.
Richard, Madrid, Spain
I would like to express my deepest sympathy for those who have lost a friend or family member. I wish the best for you. May you find the strength to overcome your grief. All around the world the sun shines a little less brightly today.
Rosalind, Knysna, South Africa
The question is not who, the question is why? We should stop terrorism. Act of mass murder should be stopped at all cost. All peace loving people should unite to stop these acts.
Sudeep Ghosh, Ireland
All the heart of Lebanese people goes with the victims of these attacks... The sun will rise again surely...
Today I feel more vulnerable than ever before. All around the world people die daily without any reason, but today I have seen the station where everyday I take the train and the metro full of death and pain. Let's stop this madness, please. No more blood. No more Pain. No more Terrorism. My condolences to all those who have lost somebody in any place of this world, and specially to my people from Madrid.
Lidia Santiago, Madrid, Spain.
We are a group of Catalan students from Castelló d'Empúries High School and we want to condemn these terrible attacks in Madrid on 11th March. Today is a day of mourning in all the world.
Lourdes Roviras, Catalonia, Spain
The Spanish Government seems poised to point the finger too quickly at Eta for its own political aims. Spanish collaboration in the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has sullied this country's reputation. There is no justification for violence but did Jose Maria Aznar expect his policies to please everybody?
Joseph Mudikuneil, Barcelona, Spain
Barely a few minutes saved my sister-in-law's life on Thursday. I can't imagine the excruciating pain in 190 Spanish homes while I am writing these lines; my heart is with all of them, as more than ever I am proud of being Spanish, European, and no sick terrorist will have the slightest chance to change that.
Tony, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
My daughter is an exchange student in Seville who went to Madrid on Wednesday...NO ONE has heard from her since. American, 5'10 inches 145 pounds. Long brown (mid-back) hair, green eyes. Tattoo on lower back of star (approx 4" across) Carly is her name, she is traveling with another student, Laura. Please....any info is appreciated. I love you Carly and I am coming there tomorrow, XO Mom
Holly Taylor, Walnut Creek California USA
The train to work this morning was quiet, quieter than normal. People had their heads buried in the morning papers and their eyes reflected the sadness we all feel. It is hard to imagine what the people of Spain are going through. All I can say is that you will never be alone, that you can always count on our support and love. After all we may all be members of proud nations, but we are all humans, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers...we are all family and the sooner the terrorists remember this and stop with their killing, the better.
As a resident of Istanbul and a Turkish citizen my heart goes out for the victims of this cowardly terrorist act. Only three months ago I also had to wake up with the sounds of explosions, and realize that my city was not that safe anymore. As the recent terrorist bombings in Istanbul and Madrid clearly demonstrate, there should never be any sympathy for people who use terrorism to correct the injustices suffered by others.
Kaan Sahilyol, Istanbul, Turkey
No words to explain our feelings today. Thank you very much for your support.
Sergio, Alicante, Spain
I couldn't sleep last night, thinking about all those victims and how the killers can live with no remorse. I can only say I'm proud of being Spanish, and also I'm proud to see how there are still good people in my country and all around the world. Thank you from a sad madrileña.
This tragedy in Madrid as in Bali and New York and other places before underscores the way the war is being brought to our shores by way of these fundamentalist and separatist terrorists. I can only hope there is justice in the afterlife for these indiscriminate murderers of innocents. People can sadly be in the wrong place at the wrong time, just going about their daily lives. It's barbaric and is going to be increasingly common. God bless the families and friends of the victims and the people of Spain.
Stuart Lord, Wollongong, Australia
If it was al-Qaeda, then this may be just the beginning. Britain, Australia, Poland, Denmark, the Netherlands. All members of the coalition of the willing would be at risk. It's as if we're all being told that the foreign policies of the US cannot be supported unpunished, not without a curse being laid upon us.
Mick, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Russia deeply sympathizes with the Spanish people. We share your tragedy. We should try hard not to get accustomed to these terrible situations, and do our best to fight the evil in this world.
Zoya, Moscow, Russia
The Pakistani people firmly condemn these attacks. After watching all these images I feel as if I'm going to cry. These attacks are certainly inhumane and I appeal to all of the people of the world to observe three days of mourning. Let me tell all of the world that Islam is a peaceful religion and such killings are not at all allowed.
Muhammad Fuzail, Multan, Pakistan
Words can't express the way we all feel in Madrid. It's been one of the darkest days in our History.
Silvia, Madrid, Spain
Even as far away as I am the question: "Why?" surfaces. Innocent lives lost - lives that have very little if anything to do with the cause or causes of the cowards that call themselves terrorists. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost family, friends and loved ones and with the injured. My prayers also go out to those behind this deed of murder in the hope they come forward and that they feel the pain of their actions far more than those they have hurt. Spain - stand up, hold your heads up and high and show like those in New York that life goes on and that terrorists never win!
Matt Newnham, Cape Town, South Africa
My heart is sad for every person lost, injured, or suffering from this attack on the beautiful Spanish people. We are with you all, now, and till the end of our days. Tomorrow at seven we'll light the candles.
Matija, Chicago, USA
I think you should stop talking about Eta as a separatist organisation. ERC (Catalonia), or PNV (Basque Country), for instance, are democratic parties with a voice in their parliaments which want the independence of their territories from Spain. They are separatist organisations; they are political parties as well. Eta is a terrorist organisation.
If you talk about separatist organisation when you describe Eta you are avoiding any difference between the above mentioned parties, among others, which are against violence, and Eta, that has killed around 1000 people in more than 30 years, and has never had a political voice or a political success. I think it's time to start marking the difference.
Rafael Fernández-Delgado Momparler, Valencia, Spain
As a Muslim I condemn this attack in the strongest possible fashion. A thorough investigation should be held, and the western media should exert caution before they fuel the politics of hatred by blaming everything on Islam. This is another sad day for humanity. My heart beats as one with the people of Spain.
There is a baby in hospital whose father cannot be found and whose mother is critical, there is a pregnant woman among the dead, there are injured school children, grandmothers, grandfathers, university students, in short, ordinary men and woman, both nationals and foreigners... What have all these people done to deserve this? There are no words to express the terrible pain and there is no justification for this horrible criminal act which has devastated so, so many families.
K Simón, Almería, Spain
I'm speechless, and numb. I sympathise and offer all my warmest condolences to the Spanish people for this tragedy, and the loss of lives. I was shocked when I saw the pictures on TV and the death toll climbing and I just pray for the loved ones to deal with their pain and sadness.
Fatima, Oran, Algeria
Let's not rush in blaming any group before all facts are known. Our thoughts at this moment should be with the families and victims of the heinous attack
Pineda Iza, Mexico
I lived in Madrid for a couple of years, I love Spain, their friendly and happy people, and I had the best time of my life living there. All I can say is that I feel really sad and disgusted with this despicable act. If I could turn back the time that would never happen to those people. Even knowing that my friends in Madrid are safe, I'm really really really sad.
Roberto Vieira, Rio de Janeiro
This is a sorrowful day for the world. Perhaps we should have been fighting al-Qaeda this last year instead of Saddam.
My heart goes on to those who are living in fear and in pain in the beautiful country of Spain today. I hope someday that politicians and religious leaders of this world will learn that war and violence are not the answer. For the people of Spain, I want them to know that sadness might linger today, but the beauty of your people and your culture reign forever.
Liria Teff, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
I have not words to express what I feel now. Innocent people have paid someone's mistake. I'd like to thank all the people for their condolence messages.
Bella, Barcelona, Spain.
I cannot find the proper word in order to express my heartfelt sorrow that we have to live in full of violence, inhuman world. I am young and I want to believe that we can change it and make the world better. I offer my deepest sympathy to all Spanish people.
Gosia Bozek, Bialystok, Poland
I don't stop crying. All my relatives are ok, but I know this train line. Perhaps tomorrow a classroom friend will not go to class. What have they done is bad? We can live in peace. Live then. Don't kill. This is the only life we have and we must not hurt others.
Alberto, Madrid, Spain
Our thoughts are with you, the people of Spain, at this time. I don't care what your race or religion is; Jew or Arab; Catholic or Protestant; Basque or Spaniard; Muslim or Christian; Sunni or Shiite. This sort of atrocity will only strengthen the resolve of the majority of good people in this world; to stand up against international terrorism in any of its forms.
Today I am not a Barcelonese. Today I am a Madrilène. Today all Catalans of good will are Madrilènes in our hearts.
In this moment of sadness I just remember the words of Winston Churchill: We shall go on till the end, we shall fight them on the seas and oceans, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we the cost may be, we shall never surrender.
Jose, Barcelona, Spain
I don't know what to say because in a moment like that there aren't words enough to explain how I feel. We are all afraid to continue our lives or, even, to go for a walk but we've got to carry on and protest. And, of course, we must go to vote on Sunday. At last give my deepest condolences for all the familiars.
Marina Sáez Barrios, Madrid, Spain