Politician shot and killed ahead of Spanish poll

7th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

A former Socialist councillor was shot dead Friday in the Basque town of Arrasate two days before Spain's general elections, officials said.

7 March 2008

SAN SEBASTIAN - A former Socialist councillor was shot dead Friday in the Basque town of Arrasate two days before Spain's general elections, officials said.

One person shot Isaias Carrasco, 42, three times in the back of the neck as he was leaving his home, police said. Carrasco died at hospital shortly afterwards.

Reports attributed the attack to the militant Basque separatist group ETA.

Unlike about 1,000 Basque politicians and other personalities, Carrasco did not have a bodyguard.

The attack occurred on the last day of the electoral campaign as Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was finishing a speech at a rally in the southern city of Malaga.

Zapatero immediately left for Madrid.

The Spanish government had raised the terrorism alert in view of a possible attack by ETA, which has staged two bomb blasts during the campaign.

The blasts damaged a television mast and a Socialist party office, but caused no injuries.

ETA has killed five people during the term of Zapatero, who made a six-month attempt to negotiate with the group.

The attempt collapsed in December 2006 when ETA violated its ceasefire with a car bombing that killed two people at Madrid airport.

The group subsequently declared an official end to the ceasefire after 14 months in June 2007. It shot dead two police officers in southern France in December 2007

[Copyright dpa 2008]

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