Two ETA 'commandos' behind holiday bombings

3rd December 2004, Comments 0 comments

7 December 2004, MADRID- Two teams of ETA terrorists are thought to have planted the series of 12 bombs which exploded across Spain over the weekend, security sources said.

7 December 2004

MADRID- Two teams of ETA terrorists are thought to have planted the series of 12 bombs which exploded across Spain over the weekend, security sources said.

The first team or 'commando' is thought to have planted the bombs at five petrol stations in Madrid on Friday.

The blasts left seven people with minor injuries and caused massive traffic chaos as hundreds of thousands of Spaniards tried to leave the capital to take advantage of a five-day public holiday.

Spain celebrated a public holiday on Monday to mark its Day of the Constitution, to commemorate the signing of country's democratic constitution in 1978 – the first since the death of dictator Francisco Franco three years before.

There is another public holiday on Wednesday for the religious Day of the Immaculate Conception.

Security sources said they also believed the same group of ETA terrorists could also have planted bombs in four northern cities which went off on Monday, in  Ávila, Valladolid, León and Santillana del Mar.

Another ETA commando is thought to have planted the bombs in Alicante, Malaga and Ciudad Real.

The seven bombs, all planted in public areas, left five people with slight injuries including a mother and a young girl.

All the bombs went off within half an hour of each other and were composed of approximately 300g of explosives.

Spain's bomb squad (TEDAX) was still analysing the type of explosives used by the terrorists.

All the bombs were placed in areas named after Spain in an effort to emphasise ETA's opposition to the Spanish state.

The bombs went off shortly after two anonymous callers claiming to speak for the terrorist group told a Basque newspaper the names of the cities that had been targeted.

Spanish Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso, in a live address to the nation on Spanish television on Friday, said "everything points to ETA" in the first attacks to hit the Spanish capital since the 11 March train bombings earlier this year, which killed 191 and injured nearly 2,000.

Another bomb, thought to have been planted by ETA, was difused in the southern Spanish city of Alemeria on Saturday.

ETA will be determined to show that they are still in business after a series of serious set-backs.

French and Spanish police intensified their cross-border cooperation, leading to more than 100 arrests this year.

Two leaders were arrested in October in south-west France, dealing the terrorist organisation its most serious blow since 1992 – when other leaders were arrested.

Batasuna recently appealed for a "political dialogue" to resolve once and for all the simmering Basque crisis, in which more than 800 people have been killed in ETA's 40-year independence campaign.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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