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Spain congratulates US over killing of Al Qaeda's Bin Laden

Interior Ministry retains alert level but does not rule out reprisals

Spanish politicians from both sides of the spectrum congratulated the United States on Monday for the operation in Pakistan that led to the death of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

The successful raid by US special forces on the hideout of the world's most-wanted man was warmly greeted in Madrid, the scene of the 2004 commuter train bombings, perpetrated by Al Qaeda-inspired terrorists, that left 191 people dead and 1,800 injured. Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero sent a telegram to Washington expressing "the shared satisfaction, in the name of my government and Spanish society, with the American people for the result of the operation that has ended the life of Bin Laden."

Madrid regional premier Esperanza Aguirre, who narrowly escaped the 2008 massacre by Islamist militants in Mumbai, said the mission had "made a statement and taught terrorism, and the leader of the terrorists, a big lesson."

Although the government did not rule out the threat of reprisals in the wake of Bin Laden's death, Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba said the current level two state of alert, on a scale of one to four, is "sufficient" to guarantee Spain's security.

Despite the Interior Ministry's decision, Defense Minister Carme Chacón met with high-ranking military personnel on Monday afternoon to study additional protection measures for Spain's contingents in Afghanistan and Lebanon.