Fourth Majorca blast also caused by ETA bomb

12th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

The government concludes the explosion at a Majorcan bar was caused by a bomb and not a gas leak as originally thought.

Madrid – A small explosion at a bar in Majorca last weekend first blamed on a gas leak was caused by a fourth bomb set off that day by Basque separatist group ETA, the government said Tuesday.

"We can now conclude that there were four explosive devices that went off," Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba told a news conference of the attacks on Sunday.

At least three anonymous calls were made to Spanish authorities before the bombs containing around 100 grammes (3.5 ounces) of explosives each went off but they were "incomprehensible" and did not specify when and where the blasts would occur, he added.

Police have determined that one of the calls was made from France and the other two were also likely made from the country, the minister said.

ETA, considered a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States, has traditionally used France as a rear base for its attacks in Spain.

One bomb went off in an underground shopping area in Palma de Mallorca while the other three exploded at restaurants and bars in the city. All four bombs were left in toilets. They caused material damage but no injuries.

It was the second attack on the resort island at the height of the tourist season, following a car bombing on 30 July that killed two policemen and for which ETA claimed responsibility.

Rubalcaba said it was "reasonable" to believe that the ETA members who carried out that bombing were also responsible for the wave of blasts on Sunday in Palma.

"They can still be on the island, they may have already left. We don't rule out any hypothesis," he said.

Police have stepped up security on the island since the car bombing and the minister said tourists "should feel safe".

Tourism accounts for 80 percent of the economy of the Balearic Islands, which group Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.

In 2008, they welcomed 10 million tourists, including four million Germans and 3.4 million Britons.

AFP / Expatica

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