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Madrid suspect arrested in Serbia

From CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman

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Abdelmajid Bouchar

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Acts of terror

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A Madrid train bombing suspect wanted on an international warrant since last year has been arrested in Serbia where he was carrying forged Iraqi documents, Spain's Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

The suspect, Moroccan-born Abdelmajid Bouchar, 22, fled from a Madrid suburban apartment three weeks after the March 11, 2004 train bombings, as police closed in to make arrests there. Seven train bombing suspects blew themselves up during the raid.

An international warrant was issued for Bouchar but the trail ran cold until his recent arrest in Belgrade for violating Serbian immigration regulations, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Bouchar was carrying forged Iraqi documentation using the name Midhat Salah and refused to cooperate with Serbian authorities, who sent his fingerprints to the international police agency, Interpol. Spanish police were subsequently able to determine his real identity.

Spain will seek his extradition.

The coordinated bombings against four rush-hour morning commuter trains in Madrid killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,500.

A total of 109 people, many of them Moroccan-born, have been charged in the case, and about 20 remain in jail, a National Court spokeswoman told CNN. Indictments are expected possibly next month and a trial would follow.

Bouchar reportedly had been on the street as police closed in on the suspected train bomber hideout in the Madrid suburb of Leganes on April 3, 2004. Bouchar detected their presence, shouted up to the other suspects in the apartment and took off running.

A gun battle ensued between the suspects inside the apartment and police on the street, before special operations officers closed in hours later after a siege.

As they did, the seven suspects, including several prime suspects in the train bombings, blew themselves up, also killing one of the special operations police officers.

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