Just days after Spain banned a referendum on the future of the Basque Country, the terrorist group ETA is being blamed for two overnight bombs.
Police said one attack revealed a worrying new strategy. A booby-trapped car was left outside a police station in Ondarroa, and petrol bombs hurled at the building. It is thought they were intended to bring officers outside, where they would be hit by the full force of the following explosion.
“The bombers hurled the petrol bombs as they ran off, hoping to bring the police onto the street as the car exploded,” said Javier Balza, the Basque Region Interior Minister. “I am telling you this because the world should know the criminal intention of the terrorists.”
Seven people were wounded: three officers and four passers-by. They needed hospital treatment, but their injuries are not said to be life-threatening.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said the bombers would never win:
“Spain is a democracy, and we will not back down in the face of terrorism, because their only destiny is prison.”
The Ondarroa attack followed a blast in the Basque regional capital, Vitoria. Another car bomb exploded outside the offices of the Caja Vital bank, but no-one was hurt. There was a warning call in Vitoria, but none was received in Ondarroa.