Ajax, the police dog that prevented a terrorist 'massacre', honoured with a statue in Antequera

Authorities at the inauguration of the monument.
Authorities at the inauguration of the monument. / ANTONIO J. GUERRERO
  • The German Shepherd and his handler prevented the terrorist group ETA from committing a second attack in Mallorca in July 2009

The first car bomb explosion killed Carlos Sáenz de Tejada García, 28, and Diego Salva Lezaun, 27. The two Guardia Civil officers were victims of the attack that the terrorist group ETA carried out in Palmanova, Mallorca, on 30 July 2009.

The terrorists had prepared a second car bomb that was ready to be detonated when the authorities responded to the incident.

But they hadn’t reckoned on Ajax, a Guardia Civil dog specialised in the detection of explosives, along with his handler, Sergeant Juan Carlos Alabarces.

The dog identified the vehicle and avoided a massacre.

"He saved many lives, including mine," acknowledged the officer at a ceremony on Monday when Antequera honoured the German Shepherd.

Ajax's career ended in 2012 and he died in the Lobo Park in Antequera during 2013. He had lived his last days there after retiring with honours including international recognition with a gold medal from the British charity, the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals.

Now, on a rainy day in December, Antequera has installed a bust of the animal carved in solid stone by the artist Antonio García. The general director of the Civil Guard, María Gámez, presided over the event.

Alabarces recalled the moment when Ajax went down in history. "What we saw that day will never be forgotten," he confessed.

"Ajax located another vehicle carefully prepared to implode and cause a massacre of women and children, as it was in an area full of hotels in full summer."