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British woman among three held over shooting of right-wing politician in Spain

Alejo Vidal-Quadras remains in hospital after being shot in the face earlier this month (AP Photo/Thierry Charlier, File)
Associated Press Reporter

A British woman and two Spanish men have been arrested in connection with the shooting of a right-wing politician in Madrid earlier this month.

Alejandro Vidal-Quadras, 78, was shot in the face in broad daylight on November 9 and remains in hospital.

The National Police force’s press department said two suspects were detained in the city of Lanjaron in southern Spain and the third in the city of Fuengirola.

Spanish state news agency EFE and other media outlets said none of the three was suspected of having fired the shot that hit Mr Vidal-Quadras, who helped found Spain’s far-right Vox party.

CORRECTION Spain Politician Shot
Three people have been arrested in connection with the shooting if the right-wing politician (AP Photo/Thierry Charlier, File)

EFE said the two people arrested in Lanjaron were a Spanish man and his partner, a British woman. A man detained in Fuengirola, also a Spaniard, was arrested in connection with a motorbike used in the shooting, the news agency reported.

The National Court is investigating the shooting as a possible terrorist attack.

Police told The Associated Press earlier this month that Mr Vidal-Quadras had raised the possibility he was targeted because of his ties with Iran’s political opposition. Investigators were exploring a potential Iranian link but so far have no found evidence of one, police told the AP.

Mr Vidal-Quadras has been aligned for decades with the Iranian opposition in exile. In January, Iran’s Foreign Ministry imposed sanctions on him and others with ties to the exiled opposition group known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, accusing them of “supporting terrorism and terrorist groups”.

Mr Vidal-Quadras was an important member of Spain’s conservative Popular Party and also a European Parliament member before he helped found Vox. He has not been active in politics for several years but maintained a public role as a media commentator and columnist.

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