None injured in Majorca bombings; ETA suspected

10th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Three bombs exploded in public places on Majorca on Sunday, hours after the ETA claimed earlier attacks.

Palma De Majorca – Bombs exploded in two restaurants and a shopping centre on the Spanish island of Majorca on Sunday, officials said, hours after the armed Basque separatist group ETA claimed the deadly attack 10 days earlier.

No one was injured in Sunday's blasts which were not powerful, local authorities said, and which came after a telephoned warning from a group claiming to be ETA.

One explosion went off at around 2:30 pm (1230 GMT) in the women's toilets of a beachfront pizza restaurant, La Rigoletta, in the city of Palma de Majorca. A security cordon was thrown up around the restaurant, an AFP photographer at the scene said.

The second explosion happened shortly afterwards in another restaurant.

Then at around 6pm, a third bomb went off in a shopping centre located under a major city square of Palma de Majorca. Some small damage was reported, authorities said.

A major manhunt has been launched with around 1,600 members of the security forces involved in the search.

A spokesman for the Basque regional government's interior ministry said a taxi company in the Basque region, in Spain's northeast, had received earlier Sunday a warning in ETA's name that there were several bombs planted in restaurants in Palma de Majorca, a popular tourist spot.

It was the second recent attack on the holiday island at the height of the tourist season, following a July 30 bombing that killed two Civil Guard officers for which ETA claimed responsibility.

A major manhunt was launched following the blasts with around 1,600 members of the security forces involved in the search.

Earlier on Sunday, a statement from ETA claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the July blast and another in June that killed a police inspector.

In a statement released to the pro-independence Basque daily Gara, the group claimed the 30 July car bomb attack outside a police barracks on Majorca that killed two members of the Civil Guards paramilitary police.

The group also said it was behind the 19 June car bomb that killed a 49-year-old police inspector Garcia in the Basque town of Arrigorriaga.

ETA's statement claimed more attacks, including the car bombing of a Civil Guards barracks in the northern city of Burgos on 29 July that injured 40 people and the bombing of the offices of the ruling Socialist Party in the Basque town of Durango on 10 July in which no one was injured.

Security officials cited by the Spanish media speculated the latest bombings and the July 30 blast were carried out by the same ETA unit on the island.

"Everything indicates there is an ETA unit in Majorca," said Bartomeu Barcelo, prosecutor at the high court of the Balearic Islands, cited in reports.

Founded half a century ago, ETA is blamed for the deaths of 828 people in its violent campaign for an independent Basque homeland encompassing parts of northern Spain and southwest France.

Considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States, the group resumed its campaign of violence in mid-2007 after a 15-month ceasefire called for ultimately unsuccessful talks with the Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

AFP / Expatica

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