David Bebber  /  Reuters
Members of Britain's Regimental Band of Her Majesty's Coldstream Guards attend the Changing of the Guards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London on Sunday. They played the national anthem of Spain as a tribute to the victims of the Madrid bombings.
updated 3/14/2004 11:23:00 AM ET 2004-03-14T16:23:00

Royal guards at Buckingham Palace played the Spanish national anthem Sunday in tribute to the victims of the Madrid train bombings, while Pope John Paul II condemned the attacks as barbaric.

As authorities in Spain investigated a claim that al-Qaida carried out the attacks, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder met with officials to assess the security situation in Germany and leaders from Israel to the Philippines declared that terrorism was a problem for the entire world.

“The tragedy in Madrid is another wake-up call that democracy must be defended, nationally and globally,” said Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, one of the staunchest Asian backers of the U.S.-led anti-terror campaign.

‘We are friends and brothers’
In London, guards outside Queen Elizabeth II’s residence played the “Marcha Real” during the traditional changing of the guard ceremony, attended by the Spanish Ambassador the Marquis of Tamaron.

The decision to play the anthem was made with the Queen’s approval to recognize “the tragedy which the Spanish people have suffered and to show solidarity,” a palace spokeswoman said.

“We are friends and brothers, and people all over the world have been saying they are sorry for Spain,” said Marcos Torres, a 25-year-old Spanish law firm employee who lives in London and was one of several hundred people who watched the ceremony.

Half a world away, hundreds of members of the Spanish community in Sydney, Australia, wore black ribbons at a ceremony in a downtown district known for its Spanish restaurants and clubs.

Slideshow: Train bombings in Madrid

Carrying banners with the Spanish words meaning, “We are far away but with you also,” and “All for peace. No to terrorism,” the crowd lit a candle for the 200 victims of Thursday’s bombings, which also injured about 1,500.

At the Vatican, Pope John Paul dedicated his weekly Sunday remarks to the tragedy, asking aloud “how the human spirit can manage to conceive of such abhorrent misdeeds.”

Germany wants tighter security
In Berlin, Schroeder met with his security cabinet after Spanish authorities arrested five suspects in connection with the attacks and recovered a videotape claiming the bombings were carried out by al-Qaida.

Interior Minister Otto Schily told German television ARD late Saturday that border controls and patrols in train stations and airports were increased in the immediate wake of the attacks.

Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the deadly train bombings should persuade the international community of the need for a combined effort against terrorism.

“I would like to express our condolences to the people of Spain for the victims who fell in great numbers as a consequence of a cruel terror attack,” Sharon said as he opened Israel’s weekly Cabinet meeting. “I hope that the world will wake up and understand that we must all work together against terrorism."

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