Leftwing extremists behind Zaragoza cathedral blast, police believe

No personal or material damage caused at El Pilar basilica

Police and fire brigade members outside the basilica.
Police and fire brigade members outside the basilica. JAVIER CEBOLLADA (EFE)

An explosion Wednesday in Zaragoza’s basilica of El Pilar resulted in the evacuation of the cathedral but resulted in no personal or material damage, according to the police.

At the time of the explosion, the basilica was open to the public, and was subsequently cordoned off. Investigators suspect leftwing extremists may have been behind the blast following the deactivation of a home-made device at Madrid’s Almudena cathedral on February 7, for which an anarchist group calling itself Comando Insurreccionalista Mateo Morral claimed responsibility.

The blast at the Zaragoza shrine is believed to have been caused by a gas camping stove. Witnesses awaiting the 2pm Mass said that they heard a loud bang and saw smoke billowing from the central aisle leading to the main altar. Nearby businesses were also forced to shut down as police inspected the area around the cathedral.

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