A Spanish solder has been injured in an exchange of fire near a barracks in the Basque Country. Armed police officers are searching the scene in San Sebastian to determine whether the incident was terrorist-related. The victim, a 28-year-old officer, told medical staff he was set upon by two armed men and discharged his own weapon before being injured.
He is being treated in hospital but his condition is not thought to be life-threatening. Observers fear the armed separatist group ETA may be embarking on a renewed campaign of violence following the end of its ceasefire in June. But Basque plans to go ahead with a referendum are not legal according to Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who said: “the law and the Constitution must be respected and anything that does not respect that can not be done.”
Zapatero will meet the leader of the Basque government later today to talk about plans for a vote next year. Under Juan Jose Ibarretxe’s proposal, voters will decide whether political parties should be authorised to start fresh peace talks with ETA.