Vandals assail embassy in Caracas with teargas

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The Spanish Embassy in Caracas was vandalised on Friday by an unknown number of people who threw teargas at security guards and painted pro-ETA and pro-Palestinian slogans outside the mission's wall.

25 February 2008

CARACAS - The Spanish Embassy in Caracas was vandalised on Friday by an unknown number of people who threw teargas at security guards and painted pro-ETA and pro-Palestinian slogans outside the mission's wall.

No one was reported injured.

While the Venezuelan government condemned the incident, Madrid brushed off the episode by saying that "it wasn't necessary to give it any major importance."

The incidents occurred on Friday afternoon when an unknown number of people threw a teargas bomb at the security personnel at the embassy's gates and then painted an ikurriña (Basque national flag) and slogans supporting ETA and an independent Palestine. The vandals also left effigies of King Juan Carlos and Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero at the embassy's gates. In the graffiti on the wall, they signed as the Simón Bolívar Coordinating Committee.

"The government and the people of Venezuela, with a long, historic tradition of respect for sovereignty and love of peace, repudiate this criminal act undertaken by a small group that works against the Bolivarian ideals," read a statement from the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / C. HERNÁNDEZ 2008]

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