ETA sympathisers plant bomb under candidate's car

24th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

24 May 2007, MADRID - Suspected Basque separatist sympathizers tried to set off a small, homemade bomb Thursday under the car of a Socialist candidate in weekend elections, but the device failed to go off, Basque police said.

24 May 2007

MADRID - Suspected Basque separatist sympathizers tried to set off a small, homemade bomb Thursday under the car of a Socialist candidate in weekend elections, but the device failed to go off, Basque police said.

Police in the Basque town of Zarautz near San Sebastian were alerted when people heard a small explosion and saw smoke coming out from under an empty car owned by the candidate. Materials found in a plastic bag are being analyzed, a Basque police official said.

"Something exploded but only partially, or something failed to work properly," the official said, speaking under rules barring him from being named.

The official said investigators suspected young sympathizers of the armed separatist group ETA were behind the failed attack.

The candidate targeted was Jose Antonio Elola, a Socialist who is running for the town council in nearby Getaria. He was not in the car at the time.

Basque municipal elections are scheduled for Sunday as part of nationwide local elections.

The Basque pro-independence movement is angry because most of its candidates have been barred from running on grounds they are linked to Batasuna, the outlawed party considered ETA's political wing.

ETA declared a cease-fire in March 2006, raising hopes for an end to the decades-old conflict, but ended it with a car bombing on Dec. 30 at Madrid airport, killing two people and prompting the Spanish government to call off talks with ETA.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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