MADRID, Spain – Spanish police arrested five more suspects for the March 11 commuter train bombings, court officials said Thursday, bringing to 18 the number of people in custody for the attack against one of the closest U.S. allies in the Iraqi war.
Two suspects were arrested Thursday in the Madrid (search) area, the officials said. Three others, identified as Moroccans, were arrested Wednesday in the Madrid region and in Ugena, 20 miles south of the capital. The suspects' homes were being searched for evidence.
All will be questioned on Monday at the national court.
The German news channel n-tv reported Thursday that three suspects arrested by Spanish police Wednesday had lived in Germany and were "directly involved" in planning the Madrid bombings.
It was not immediately clear whether the arrests were among those announced Thursday by Spanish authorities.
The three were known to German authorities as Islamic extremists (search) who might be ready to carry out attacks, the station said, citing unidentified German intelligence sources.
German federal prosecutors, who have opened an investigation because a German woman was injured in the Madrid attacks, refused to comment on the n-tv report.
A spokeswoman for Germany's foreign intelligence agency, Michaela Heber, said she had no immediate information on the suspects. Officials at other German investigative agencies had no comment.
Spanish authorities have now arrested a total of 20 suspects and released two of them.
Those arrested before Wednesday were 11 Moroccans, two Indians, one Algerian and a Spaniard. Of those in custody, 11 have been charged and jailed pending further investigation. One Moroccan and the Algerian have been released.