Spain hit by second bus petrol bomb attack

19th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

In the second such incident in two days, a bus was attacked with petrol bombs in Durango and set on fire.

Madrid – A bus was attacked with petrol bombs in the northern Spanish town of Durango on Saturday night, officials said Sunday, the second such incident in two days in the Basque region.

Masked attackers -- believed by the authorities to be young Basque separatists -- armed with metal bars and baseball bats forced around 20 passengers to get off the bus before setting it alight.

The incident came hours after a major demonstration in the town of San Sebastian protesting against the arrest of a number of militant separatists.

A spokesman for the Basque regional interior ministry said: "At around 3:45 am (0145 GMT), around a dozen masked people armed with baseball bats and metal bars got on a bus carrying around 20 passengers. They made everyone get off and set the vehicle on fire.

"Petrol bombs thrown into the bus caused major damage, but no-one was injured."

On Friday night, a bus was attacked with petrol bombs in Bilbao, and a similar incident caused serious damage to three banks in the town of Ondarroa.

Thousands of people took to the streets of San Sebastian on Saturday to protest against the arrest of 10 militant separatists, including Arnaldo Ortegi, the leader of Batasuna, the banned political arm of ETA.

On Friday the judge Baltasar Garzon ordered the detention of Otegi and four other militants suspected of trying to rebuild the leadership of Batasuna.

Five other militant separatists arrested Tuesday in the Basque region and neighbouring Navarra have been released, three on bail of EUR 10,000.

Violent attacks in towns, "kale borroka" in the Basque language, are common in the Basque region and Navarra, and are blamed on young pro-independence radicals thought by the Spanish to support the armed separatist group ETA.

AFP / Expatica

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