A bomb claimed by the Basque separatist group ETA has exploded in Madrid, injuring at least three people. The explosion in the north of the Spanish capital happened 45 minutes after a warning call was made to Basque newspaper Gara, in the name of ETA. Police sealed off the zone in the San Blas district and eyewitnesses reported seeing smoke rising from the area.
The blast came just eight days after the Spanish parliament granted the government permission to open peace talks with ETA, if the group laid down its arms.
Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, condemned the bombing and said ETA’s only option was to disarm. “No one doubts that democracy is and will be the stronger force,” he said. “The state has right to impose these rules because of their moral force and because they are the wish of the vast majority of Spaniards.” ETA has killed nearly 850 people since 1968 in a campaign for an independent Basque state in northern Spain and south-western France.