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Anonymous attacks website of Spanish parliament as Madrid faces mass protest

Published time: April 25, 2013 11:47
Edited time: April 25, 2013 12:45
Screenshot from www.congreso.es

Screenshot from www.congreso.es

The hacktivist group Anonymous claimed they have taken down the website of the Spanish parliament. The attack came as Spaniards gathered in Madrid for a mass protest.

The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack jammed the parliament’s servers, rendering the site inaccessible to the public, sources in the legislative body confirmed to El Mundo newspaper.

The attack is apparently ongoing, as the website is working sporadically.

The news comes as the Spanish capital deployed 1,400 police around the parliament building ahead of a planned mass protest. Spaniards will demonstrate against economic hardships and record-high unemployment in the country.

The morning before the demonstration, Spanish police detained 15 people in Madrid. One group had prepared flares and firebombs, while members of another group were caught with sticks and chains, the interior ministry reported. The incendiary devices were part of a plan to torch a bank during the protest, police said.

The protesters are calling for a “siege and liberation” of the parliament.

Organizers hope that the demonstration will be as massive as the protest on September 25 last year, when an anti-austerity action drew some 6,000 people and ended with violent clashes with riot police.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said earlier this week that more austerity measures would be announced on Friday. Currently, 27.2 percent of workers – more than 6 million people – are jobless in the eurozone’s fourth-biggest economy.