Holidaying Britons warned of ETA terror threat

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UK Foreign Office tells British tourists to be "vigilant" after two bombs exploded in beach resorts on the Costa del Sol on Sunday.

19 August 2008

MADRID - Britain's Foreign Office on Monday warned tourists travelling to Spain to be "vigilant" after two small bombs exploded in beach resorts on the Costa del Sol at the weekend.

"There is a high threat from terrorism in Spain," the Foreign Office said on its website. "Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

The Spanish authorities are fully aware of the impact of terrorism and are taking measures to protect visitors, but you should be vigilant. Disruptions from real or hoax terror attempts can be expected."

The warning came after British and other foreign holidaymakers were evacuated from a beach near the Tryp Guadalmar Hotel in Malaga city and from a marina in the nearby resort of Benalmádena on Sunday following bomb threats by Basque terrorist group ETA.

Two devices subsequently exploded, without causing injuries, while a third, planted on a road leading to Malaga airport, was defused by police. The incident caused delays at Malaga airport and lengthy traffic jams around the city at the end of a bank holiday weekend.

The Costa del Sol has been targeted in the past by ETA as part of a summer terror campaign aimed at damaging Spain's tourism industry that the group has carried out with varying degrees of intensity since 1979.

Around 17 million British tourists visit Spain each year, mostly for the country's Mediterranean beaches, and few have been deterred by the attacks.

"[ETA] just want to annoy people, they always do the same thing summer after summer, but it isn't going to stop people getting on with their lives, nor are they going to stop going on vacation," noted one Malaga resident after the attacks on Sunday.

[El Pais / A Eatwell / Expatica]

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