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Bomb blasts in Spain after ETA warning

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Bomb blasts in Spain after ETA warning


There has been a major security alert in northern Spain with two bombs exploding after a warning given in the name of ETA. The alarm was raised following a telephone call from a woman claiming to represent the armed Basque separatists. She said four devices in total had been planted on roads.

The first went off in Cantabria, between Santander and Bilbao. The second blew up in Navarra. No-one was injured. Both regions border the troubled Basque Country where a call for a regional general strike today was launched by Batasuna, a banned party accused of being ETA’s political wing. It urged industrial action amid a row over the treatment of ETA prisoners, whose families want them to be held close to home. There were violent scenes on the streets following the recent deaths behind bars of two ETA-linked inmates. One committed suicide. The other suffered a heart attack. But activists condemn the conditions in which they were detained. In marches following their deaths, demonstrators fought running battles with police. Today’s strike is a protest at the Basque government’s ban on people publicly paying tribute to the pair. The issue of ETA prisoners is highly sensitive at a time of rumours – denied by Spain’s Socialist government – that secret peace talks with the group are planned or underway.
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