Corsica blasts kill suspected bomber

4th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

AJACCIO, Corsica, Jan 4, 2007 (AFP) - A series of bomb blasts across the Mediterranean island of Corsica killed a suspected separatist planting some of the devices, officials said Thursday.

AJACCIO, Corsica, Jan 4, 2007 (AFP) - A series of bomb blasts across the Mediterranean island of Corsica killed a suspected separatist planting some of the devices, officials said Thursday.

The overnight explosions occurred one day before a visit to the French territory by Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the conservative presidential candidate.

They fit the pattern of separatist attacks that has dogged Corsica for three decades.

Five of the blasts went off in and around the southern port of Ajaccio, the island's biggest urban centre, lightly damaging four banks and a tax office.

"The two banks in the city center and the main tax office suffered minor damage to their front and other windows," said a security official.

A sixth blast, in the northern town of Sollaro killed a man in his 50s believed to have been carrying the bomb at the time. A suspected accomplice was injured and was in hospital in a serious condition.

A seventh explosion in Sollaro, apparently caused by a device on a timer planted by the pair, came shortly after the sixth. It destroyed an empty villa.

Separatist bomb attacks frequently target buildings associated with French rule, such as police stations, banks and post offices, as well as holiday villas owned by non-Corsicans, but it is unusual to have so many in one night.

The blasts usually take place at night, when properties are vacant, and are not aimed at claiming lives.

Sarkozy is to visit the island on Friday for meetings with local officials and businessmen on rural and agricultural development.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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