Alonso promises Madrid is secure after ETA attack

26th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

27 June 2005, MADRID — The Spanish interior minister Jose Antonio Alonso has sought to reassure the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the capital would be "absolutely secure" if it was granted the 2012 Games.

27 June 2005

MADRID — The Spanish interior minister Jose Antonio Alonso has sought to reassure the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the capital would be "absolutely secure" if it was granted the 2012 Games.

Alonso made the point after the Basque terrorist group ETA exploded a car bomb in the parking lot of Madrid's Olympic stadium on Saturday night.

The attack came less than two weeks before the capital's bid to stage the 2012 Games will be judged hy the IOC.

No-one was injured.

A anonymous caller to the Basque newspaper Gara on Saturday said the explosion would take place at 7pm.

The blast occurred exactly a month after ETA set off another car bomb in the same area loaded with 20 kilos of explosives that injured three people and produced extensive damage.

This is the third car bomb attack in the Spanish capital in 2005, and as on previous occasions perpetrators phoned in the time and site to Gara.

On 10 June, ETA activists hurled two grenades at the airport in Zaragoza, in east central Spain, injuring no one but forcing the airport to shut down.

The target chosen by the terrorists this time is a key element in Madrid's bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, a venue set to be picked by the International Olympic Committee in Singapore on 6 July.

Since 30 May 2003, when ETA carried out its last deadly attack, killing two national police officers in Navarre, the group has rarely targeted its traditional objectives - barracks, police stations, courthouses and the offices of political parties.

Over the past two years, ETA, which has killed more than 800 people since 1968 in its struggle to form an independent Basque states in parts of northern Spain and southwest France, has targeted businesses, tourist attractions and electric and railroad infrastructure around Spain.

ETA confirmed the switch in objectives in a communique last week announcing the cessation of "armed attacks" on "the elected officials of Spain's political parties."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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