Station bomb blast after arrest of ETA sympathisers

5th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

5 February 2007, BILBAO — An explosion ripped through a train station at Lutxana in the Basque Country, blowing out doors and windows but injuring no one.

5 February 2007

BILBAO — An explosion ripped through a train station at Lutxana in the Basque Country, blowing out doors and windows but injuring no one.

Lutxana's mayor, Tontxu Rodriguez, told EFE news agency a second blast went off minutes later, though police could not immediately confirm this.

Firefighters fought to control the subsequent fire for at least three hours.

A source at the Basque interior ministry told EFE that it seemed likely a bomb, probably home-made, had caused the blast.

The attack, thought to be the work of supporters of ETA, came hours after 18 of the 19 youth leaders linked to the Basque terrorist group ETA sought for the past two weeks by Spanish police.

The arrests came after all 18 surrendered to officers with the Ertzaintza, the autonomous police of the Basque Country, after participating in an event with sympathizers of the separatist group.

The people taken into custody had fled from the authorities and had been sought by police since the Supreme Court last month declared the youth groups Segi, Jarrai and Haika to be terrorist organizations.

The police operation was carried out in the presence of the main leaders of the banned Batasuna party - ETA's political arm - Arnaldo Otegi, Joseba Permach, Rufi Etxebarria and Jone Goirizelaia, as well as hundreds of supporters of Segi.

The Supreme Court declared the three youth groups to be terrorist organizations and not merely illicit associations, as the National Court had described them in June 2005.

Immediately after the Supreme Court's ruling, authorities ordered the arrests of 23 people, four of whom were captured over the next few days and another 18 on Sunday.

Only one of the people sought by authorities still remains at large.

ETA declared a cease-fire last March but it was shattered when the separatist group detonated a car bomb on Dec. 30 at Madrid's airport, killing two Ecuadorian citizens.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said in mid-December that, in the aftermath of the attack, "nobody is talking about a dialogue scenario" with ETA.

The Basque terrorist group has killed more than 830 people since 1968 in its campaign to create an independent Basque nation in parts of northern Spain and southwestern France.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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