ETA strikes again in attack on Zaragoza Airport

10th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

10 June 2005, MADRID – Hopes for the start of a peace process to end terrorism in Spain took a blow on Friday when two explosions went off near Zaragoza Airport.

10 June 2005

MADRID – Hopes for the start of a peace process to end terrorism in Spain took a blow on Friday when two explosions went off near Zaragoza Airport.

No one was injured in the attack by the Basque terrorist group ETA and there was no damage caused.

The newspaper ‘Gara’ and a road assistance firm both received calls at 11.30am from ETA, warning that a mortar attack would take place at the airport between 12 and 2pm.

Staff and passengers at the airport were evacuated. According to the airport, there were few passengers in the terminal because there was no flight scheduled until 1.30pm.

The Zaragoza government told the newspaper ‘El Mundo’ that the police had found three bazookas dumped around 300m from the airport, one of which contained a still-unexploded grenade.

The police confirmed that the material was found on the road linking Zaragoza airport with the military airbase.

Zaragoza’s government said the whistle of two grenades had been heard, but only one explosion, but added that that did not necessarily mean the second grenade had not gone off.

Initial news reports had suggested the explosions had taken place inside the airport, but the national police and the Civil Guard insisted later Friday afternoon that no explosion had gone off inside the airport and no part of the grenades had finished up in the airport.

The airport remained cordoned off later Friday afternoon while police combed the ground for any other explosives. Remaining flights and landings were cancelled.

The only landing scheduled was a London Ryanair flight at 1.15pm, which was diverted to the military base. Four Air Nostrum flights, including two to Madrid and two to Frankfurt, were cancelled.

Friday’s attack is the eighth time that ETA has targeted an airport. During its 30 years, it has killed an estimated 830 people, with one killed at an airport.

Vice president Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega told the press she roundly condemned the attack and said the government would not negotiate with ETA while it continued its campaign of violence.

The opposition’s Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy also denounced ETA and criticised the government’s plan to negotiate with ETA if it renounces violence. Reminding the government of the 850,000 people who marched in Madrid against talks with the terrorist group, Rajoy said: "We shouldn’t talk nor negotiate, nor invite it to anything."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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