Spanish police continue search for ETA suspect

23rd July 2007, Comments 0 comments

23 July 2007 , Castellón – Spanish security forces continued their search on Monday for a suspected member of the Basque terror organisation ETA who abandoned a taxi last week and left behind a gym bag containing explosives, officials said.

23 July 2007

Castellón – Spanish security forces continued their search on Monday for a suspected member of the Basque terror organisation ETA who abandoned a taxi last week and left behind a gym bag containing explosives, officials said. 

Civil Guards were manning checkpoints on roads and highways in and around the resort town of Torreblanca where the suspect jumped out of the taxi to avoid a police roadblock on Thursday.

Authorities said that traffic was heavy as thousands of vehicles were leaving the area following the weekend FIB rock festival held in Benicassim.

Investigators told reporters they were looking for Ander Múgica Andonegi who the taxi driver identified as the person who fled from his vehicle. Police are also searching for Aitor Zubillaga Zurutuza who the cabbie said was with Múgica when he picked him up at the Castellon train station.

Police said they did not know what ETA’s intended target was, but noted that the organisation has carried out summer attacks at tourist resorts in the past to harm Spain’s lucrative tourism industry.

ETA declared a ceasefire in March 2006 but grew frustrated with the ensuing peace process with Spain's Socialist government, set off a car bomb that killed two people in December 2006 and last month formally declared the truce over.

In recent weeks Spanish authorities have said they have thwarted at least three plans by ETA to carry out terror attacks.

In June, investigators found a car loaded with 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of explosives in southwestern Spain near the Portuguese border.

On July 4 Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said ETA had intended to cause casualties in a bomb attack it had planned for the end of June. The attack was thwarted when authorities in France intercepted a van packed with explosives.

Earlier this month, police detained an alleged ETA member in the northern Spanish coastal city of Santander who had plans to carry out a terror attack using a car bomb.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government has been pursuing a hardline policy against ETA since it broke a cease-fire by exploding a bomb at Madrid airport Dec. 30.

ETA, a Basque-language acronym for Basque Homeland and Freedom, has been waging a violent campaign since 1968 for an independent Basque state in which more than 800 people, mostly members of the security forces, have died. .

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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