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Spanish police recover second body from Madrid blast

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Spanish police recover second body from Madrid blast


Rescuers in Spain have recovered the body of a second man from the rubble left by last Saturday’s suspected ETA car bomb attack at Madrid’s Barajas airport. The victim is believed to be a 19-year-old Ecuadorean immigrant. The remains of another Ecuadorean man found earlier this week have been returned to the country for burial. A day of mourning has been declared in Madrid and people will be asked to observe five minutes of silence in the city on Monday.

The deaths of the two Ecuadoreans are the first to be blamed on ETA in more than three years. The militant Basque separatist group declared a ceasefire nine months ago, but it has never broken a truce before without declaring its intentions first. Nevertheless, the government remains convinced the group was behind the attack.

Spain’s Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, insists he is committed to finding a negotiated settlement. But a senior figure in his Socialist Party has suggested the government may have paid the price for a lack of communication with Eta. Until all the facts are known, Zapatero says he will not address parliament for another two weeks.

Meanwhile, tensions are escalating in the Basque country where lots of bomb making equipment has been found over the last two days. Last night several buildings and banks were attacked – a usual sign of protest in the wake of heightened security alerts. Police are braced for further violence in San Sebastian. One Basque separatist group is holding a meeting tonight calling for an amnesty for political prisoners although its planned rally has been banned.

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