Car-bomb alert at Rajoy party HQ

SHAFAQNA – A man who believed that the Rajoy government had cost him his business yesterday rammed his car at speed into the ruling Popular Party headquarters, filled with canisters of inflammable butane gas.

Daniel Pérez Berlanga, 37, from Teruel, in eastern Spain, drove his Citroen Xantia at high speed through the front of the building, smashing a metal grill and two sets of doors.

Inside the car were two canisters of butane gas, which is inflammable, and two bags of industrial fertilizer, which has been used by terrorist groups to carry out attacks.

Mr Berlanga, who was arrested at the scene, claimed there was a timer inside the car and it would blow up “ in 45 minutes”. No bomb exploded.

Police closed two metro stations and a number of roads, causing rush-hour chaos after the incident just before 7am.

Popular Party (PP) workers were told not to come to work.

Antonio Nevado, a police spokesman, said: “Everything indicates it was a personal action that has nothing to do with any type of terrorist action.

“It’s a person that is suffering economic problems and rammed his car against the Popular Party office headquarters.”

Mr Berlanga told police he had lost his business and blamed the government of Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy for his problems.

Police cordoned off the area in the centre of Madrid while members of a bomb squad searched for explosives.

No one was injured but a cleaner was almost hit by the car which was driven at high speed.

The council of Bronchales, a village of 461 inhabitants in eastern Spain, is run by the PP.

Rafael Hernando, parliamentary spokesman for the PP, said the attack on the party headquarters was carried out by an “unbalanced” person.

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