Police uncover bomb stash likely dumped by ETA

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Garbage bag found in remote spot contained 10 kilos of explosives

21 March 2008

MADRID - A garbage bag containing more than 10 kilos of explosives found by a walker in the province of Ciudad Real this week was probably dumped by Basque terrorist group ETA, Spanish counterterrorism officials said Thursday.

The explosives, which police said consisted of around 10 kilos of ammonal and 1.5 kilos of a chlorate-based compound, were stashed in two old lunchboxes inside the bag along with a jumble of wires, batteries and what appeared to be a timer. Some of the material had been stamped with ETA's snake and axe logo. Police suspect that the explosives stash was dumped by ETA sometime during 2005 before the group declared and then broke a ceasefire in 2006.

The stockpile was hidden in bushes near where a footpath crosses under a road close to the town of Retuerta del Bullaque and the lake of Torre de Abraham. Given the remoteness of the location, investigators suspect the explosives had been left by one group of ETA members for an ETA cell to collect to commit an attack, although it is unclear why they had remained untouched for so long.

The find is one of several discoveries of explosives since ETA broke its ceasefire by detonating a truck bomb at a parking garage in Madrid's Barajas Airport in December 2006, killing two people.

[Copyright El Pais / ANGELES ESPINOSA 2008]

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