ETA summer bombings 'only a warm-up'

3rd September 2004, Comments 0 comments

3 September 2004, BILBAO - A series of bomb attacks by ETA at tourist targets through the summer was "only a warm-up", a Basque regional government minister claimed Friday.

3 September 2004

BILBAO - A series of bomb attacks by ETA at tourist targets through the summer was "only a warm-up", a Basque regional government minister claimed Friday.

Javier Balza, Basque Interior minister, said the terrorist group had not aimed to cause large-scale bloodshed with the August bombing campaign in northern Spain.

Nine bombs went off causing slight injuries to five people.

Balza, speaking on Radio Euskadi, a Basque station, said the authorities treated the ETA bombings as a "warm-up period" after the March massacre in Madrid by Islamic terrorists in which 191 people were killed. 

Balza said: "After the March attack, they (ETA) did not want to try an indiscriminate attack, which would bring back memories of the barbaric Madrid bombings, so they opted for this formula.

"But you should not interpret this as meaning that ETA cannot do anything else. Instead they wanted to carry out some bombings after more than a year without any successful attacks."

Balza said he believed ETA was not about to carry out another large-scale bombing, like the attack on the Hipercor supermarket in Barcelona in 1987 when 21 people died.

Instead, they aimed to attack individuals which they had threatened like politicans, judges, journalists and the police, he said.

"In their latest statements and in their latest actions, ETA seems to have a fixation with attacking the police. This is real and we have to be prepared," he said.

Balza said ETA was in a period in which it appeared to totally isolated from reality, not realising that its objectives cannot be accomplished.

But previous theories that it was about to declare a truce or end its campaign of violence were not accurate, he said.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news


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