Two Spanish civil guards have been killed in a car bomb attack on the holiday island of Majorca.
A bomb was placed under a parked patrol vehicle in which the two officers were sitting outside a civil guard barracks.
Officials immediately blamed the Basque separatist group ETA.
An eye-witness said: “A patrol car belonging to the Civil Guard was completely destroyed and there was somebody trapped inside. The medical emergency team tried to save him but quite clearly it was too late.”
The attack came in the village of Palmanova close to a popular tourist beach and about one kilometre from the palace where the Spanish royal family will be starting their annual summer holidays this weekend.
As the hunt for the killers began, the authorities halted all port traffic and the island’s airport, the third biggest in Spain. Flights are being diverted to other destinations. Spot checks are being carried out on roads.
The incident comes a day after sixty-five people were wounded in another blast outside a civil guard barracks at Burgos in north central Spain. Last month a car bomb killed a senior civil guard officer in the northern city of Bilbao.
More than eight hundred and twenty people have been killed during the group’s campaign for an independent Basque nation.
Tomorrow is the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of ETA.