Improvised bomb explodes in Spain's Basque region: police

16th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

A small, improvised bomb exploded overnight in an industrial zone in Spain's northern Basque region, local police said Thursday, attributing the attack to ETA sympathisers.

The bomb, which police described as a home-made device, exploded at 01:25 am Thursday (2325 GMT Wednesday) near the town of Vitoria, breaking windows and causing minor damage to nearby industrial buildings, a Basque police spokesman told AFP.

It looked to be a case of "Kale Borroka", the Basque term used to describe the minor acts of urban violence carried out by radical young separatists close to the armed Basque separatist group ETA, the spokesman added.

But he said there was no claim of responsibility as is usual in these types of attacks.

The bomb was made from a camping gas container, an aerosol can, inflammable liquid and a fuse taken from a firework, the spokesman said.

If confirmed, it would be the first such attack since ETA announced a ceasefire on September 5, a declaration which was sceptically received by the government in Madrid.

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero insisted that ETA would have to prove it had given up violence for good.

Since the ceasefire declaration, Spain's highest court has blocked two pro-ETA demonstrations in the Basque city of Bilbao.

On Monday, a Spanish court sentenced a former military chief of ETA to 83 years in prison for killing a police officer in a 2001 attack in Madrid.

And overnight Monday, Spanish police arrested nine people suspected of links to ETA in simultaneous raids in the Basque Country and other parts of Spain.

ETA, listed as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States, is blamed for 829 deaths in its 42-year campaign for independence for the Basque region of northern Spain and southwestern France.

© 2010 AFP

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