ETA bomb kills soldier in northern Spain

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Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, or ETA, is a Basque nationalist paramilitary organization active in Spain and France. The organization's goal is sovereignty for Basque Country and it uses both political and violent means to further its cause.


Monday, September 22, 2008

A car bomb exploded early Monday near a military academy in the coastal town of Santona, in northern Spain, killing a soldier and wounding several others. The authorities blame the Basque separatist group ETA for the attack. It was the third car bombing in 24 hours believed to have been caused by ETA.

The first bomb exploded early Sunday near the headquarters of the Caja Vital Kutxa bank in the Basque political capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz. No one was injured, but the building suffered heavy damage.

A few hours later a second bomb exploded near an Ertzaintza (Basque police) station in the coastal town of Ondarroa. Three police officers and seven civilians were injured. Officials said two suspected bombers parked a car close to the outside wall of the station, threw a Molotov cocktail to attract attention, and then detonated about 100kg of explosives.

The latest blast happened at about 01:00 (2300 UTC Sunday) and was preceded by a warning call in the name of ETA. The army officer Brigadier Luis Conde de la Cruz was killed and another soldier severely injured while the police were securing the area.

The attacks come at a time of increased turbulence in Basque politics. This week Spanish courts outlawed two Basque nationalist political parties (which have hundreds of elected town councillors and regional parliament deputies) charged of being directly linked to ETA and jailed 21 people who work on behalf of ETA prisoners and their relatives.