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ETA bomb fears after chemical theft

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ETA bomb fears after chemical theft


The theft of a huge quantity of an explosive chemical in France has raised fears of new ETA bomb attacks in Spain.

Police investigating the robbery of 2,000 litres of nitromethane from a factory believe the armed Basque separatist group were involved.

After attacking the manager, the armed gang – two men and two women – loaded 400 drums of the chemical into two of the company’s cars and escaped.

Spanish authorities also said the way the heist in the village of Lorrette was carried out suggests ETA was behind it.

The robbery comes two days after the bodyguard of a local politician was hurt in a car bombing in the Basque city of Bilbao. Anti-terrorist police say ETA was to blame and that it indicates an escalation
in the group’s activity.

The country is on a state of high alert ahead of celebrations to mark National Day tomorrow.

Tensions were heightened last week after the arrests of 17 alleged leaders of the Batasuna party which supports ETA.

A party spokesman described the swoop as “a declaration of war”.

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