msnbc.com news services
updated 3/11/2004 12:05:28 PM ET 2004-03-11T17:05:28

Using terms like "a declaration of war on democracy," world leaders were quick to condemn the attacks that killed dozens in Madrid Thursday. Below's a sampling of what's being said:

“It is an outrageous, unjustified and unjustifiable attack on the Spanish people and Spanish democracy.”
“There is a general election due in Spain on Sunday. What happened today is a declaration of war on democracy. Let Sunday show that Spanish democracy is determined to overcome terrorism.”
--European Parliament President Pat Cox

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“This is not a political act, it is criminal act against defenseless people ... a perverse act of terrorists.”
--European Commission President Romano Prodi

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The “timing of the bombings was clearly designed to wreak the greatest level of havoc ... and cannot be justified by any political cause.”
--Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, who holds the EU presidency

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"... we weep with the families. We stand strongly with the people of Spain. I appreciate so very much the Spanish government’s fight against terror, their resolute stand against terrorist organizations, like ETA.  The United States stand with them.  Today we ask God’s blessing on those who suffer in the great country of Spain.”
--U.S. President Bush

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“This terrible attack underlines the threat that we all continue to face from terrorism in many countries and why we all must work together internationally to safeguard our peoples against such attacks, and defeat terrorism.”
--British Prime Minister Tony Blair

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“I was saddened and outraged by the news of the terrible attacks in Madrid this morning. I am horrified at the large number of dead and injured."
--German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder

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“In these horrifying circumstances, I extend in my name and in the name of the French people, my most sincere condolences.”
--French President Jacques Chirac

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“An end must be put to this. As never before, it is vital to unite forces of the entire world community against terror.”
--Russian President Vladimir Putin

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“The Holy Father reiterates his firm and absolute disapproval of such actions that offend God, violate the fundamental right to life and undermine peaceful coexistence.”
--Vatican on behalf of Pope John Paul II

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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