LEGANES, Spain (CNN) — Two North Africans wanted for the Madrid bombings — including the suspected ringleader — were among five people killed when the wanted men set off an explosion as police closed in, Spain’s interior minister says.
The explosion at a four-story apartment building happened Saturday while police were pursuing the suspects in the Madrid suburb of Leganes.
The blast also killed a Spanish police officer, another Moroccan not named in the six arrest warrants, and another person who could not be identified, Interior Minister Angel Acebes said
The bodies of the suspected Tunisian ringleader, Sarhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, 35, and Abdennabi Kounjaa, a Moroccan in his late 20s, were found in the wreckage of the blast, Acebes said.
Fakhet’s body was found with an explosives belt with two kilograms of unexploded bombs, Acebes said.
Another 11 police officers were wounded in the blast, which detonated at 9 p.m. (2 p.m. ET) as the terrorists chanted in Arabic, he said.
Of those, eight are still in the hospital, two in serious condition, Acebes said.
The powerful blast in Leganes, about 10 miles south of Madrid, heavily damaged the building, blowing a hole through the second story.
Fakhet and Kounjaa were among the six suspects Spanish authorities issued arrest warrants in the March 11 attacks on commuter trains in Madrid, which killed 190 people and wounded another 1,800. (Full story)
Eleven of the 15 people charged in those train bombings are Moroccans.
Spain’s high-speed train service resumed Saturday after the state rail system, RENFE, halted it Friday, putting thousands of passengers on hold at the beginning of the weeklong Easter holiday.