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Madrid's N Korea embassy assailants linked to CIA: report

AFP  |  Madrid 

At least two of the 10 people who broke into Madrid's in February, roughing up employees and robbing computers, are linked to the CIA, the El daily said Wednesday.

The mysterious incident took place on February 22 just five days before the start of a nuclear summit between and the attended, among others, by Pyongyang's former to

According to investigators quoted by El Pais, they were specifically looking for information linked to Kim.

"At least two of the 10 assailants... have been identified and have ties with US secret services," the paper said, citing sources from the police and Spain's intelligence agency, the (CNI).

It specifically identified the CIA.

Contacted by AFP, the CNI refused to comment.

According to El Pais, asked for clarification from the CIA but the US spy agency denied any involvement.

Spanish authorities however said the response was "not very convincing".

The report said the CIA acted "in probable cooperation" with services.

The break-in has been surrounded by mystery.

The and police have only confirmed that on February 22, emergency services attended to a North Korean woman with on the street near the embassy.

According to El Pais, which has quoted investigators as saying this could be "political espionage", the 10 men entered with fake handguns, tying up and gagging the staff.

They reportedly escaped with documents, computers and telephones in two embassy cars with diplomatic number plates which they later abandoned.

Investigators have discarded the theory of a petty crime as the break-in was well organised and similar to a military commando operation that knew what it was looking for.

After analysing CCTV footage and questioning witnesses, they identified two of the assailants as having links with the CIA, El said.

Since 2017, when was expelled from as "persona non grata" after nuclear tests and missile firings by Pyongyang, the secretive state has had diplomatic representation in but no

Kim is one of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's most trusted officials.

He is now Pyongyang's and was involved in preparations for the summit in between the North Korean leader and US

The talks failed to reach a nuclear accord.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 13 2019. 20:10 IST