No injuries, deaths after car-bomb explodes in Madrid, Spain

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Monday, February 9, 2009

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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.

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A van packed with explosives blew up at a trade fair center in the Spanish capital, Madrid shortly after 9:00 a.m. Monday. The blast was preceded by a phoned in warning from the assailants, which allowed police and fire crews to evacuate the area. Authorities believe the ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna), a Basque separatist group which is on the United States list of foreign terrorist organizations, is responsible.

The attack comes three weeks before Basque regional elections and a day after the Spanish Supreme Court banned two nationalist party members from running for office in the upcoming election.

The van exploded around 9:00 a.m. local time (3:00 a.m.EST) outside the HQ of the building company Ferrovial Agroman, at the Campo de las Naciones. A warning about the pending attack was phoned into the city's local chapter of the Red Cross about 90 minutes before the explosion. The caller said the bomb would explode at 9:00 a.m. local time. No one was injured or killed, but the blast shattered windows in buildings and destroyed about 30 vehicles surrounding the blast zone. A nearby railway line and a bridge were also damaged.

Ferrovial is involved in building a high-speed train line in the Basque region, a project criticized by leftist Basque nationalists and ecologists and targeted by ETA in previous attacks. In December 2008, Ignacio Uria, a businessman linked to this project, was shot and killed. The ETA claimed responsibility for the attack. Ferrovial has not commented on the incident.

Sources

Wikipedia Learn more about the ETA on Wikipedia.

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