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Spanish police investigate group attack at North Korean Embassy

By
Renzo Pipoli
The entrance to the North Korean Embassy in Madrid, Spain. Photo by Mariscal/EPA-EFE
The entrance to the North Korean Embassy in Madrid, Spain. Photo by Mariscal/EPA-EFE

Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Police are investigating an attack last week at the North Korean Embassy in Spain, in which several people were beaten by a group of assailants.

Officials said the attackers covered victims' heads with bags, tied them up, interrogated them and beat them, El Pais reported Thursday. At least three people received heavy blows in the assault.

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The 10 suspects stole computers and documents before fleeing in two vehicles owned by the diplomatic mission, the report said. Spanish police described the attackers as "professionals" who appeared to be looking for something specific.

Police have inspected the embassy and vehicles used by the attackers, El Confidencial reported. The National Police and the National Intelligence Center are involved in investigations.

Embassy personnel and guests were tied up for at least four hours. Authorities said they're treating it as a hostage taking.

The North Korean Embassy has not yet filed any charges, but Spanish police are investigating independently.

One North Korean woman escaped the attack, officials said, but her rescue was delayed because she doesn't speak Spanish. Authorities spoke with her through an interpreter.

There were no signs of an attack when police arrived at the embassy, but the group fled the scene just minutes later. The cars were later found abandoned.

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The incident came two years after Spain expelled North Korea's ambassador over missile testing. The diplomat, Kim Hyok-chol, helped organize this week's meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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