/ 21 March 2008

Car bomb explodes in Spain after ETA warning

A car bomb exploded on Friday close to a Guardia Civil police station in Calahorra, a town in the Rioja region of northern Spain, after a warning from the Basque separatist group ETA, Spanish media reported.

The media reported no serious injuries but said the bomb warning had disrupted a Holy Week procession and some people, including a policeman, may have been slightly hurt by flying glass.

State radio said ETA had issued a warning stating the location of the bomb and the make, model and colour of the car.

Media reported the police station and surrounding area had been cleared and cordoned off before the explosion.

State television said the warning had been received about 30 minutes before the explosion and there had been scenes of panic as the area around the police station was crowded with people attending a Holy Week religious procession.

Spanish authorities blamed ETA for the death on March 7, two days before the general election, of former Socialist Party councillor Isaias Carrasco, shot dead in the Basque town of Mondragon.

ETA has killed more than 800 people in four decades in its fight for independence for the Basque Country in northern Spain and southern France, though polls show most Basques do not want this. – Reuters