One dead, four hurt in Spanish barracks blast - Emirates24|7

One dead, four hurt in Spanish barracks blast


A booby-trapped van exploded outside a civil guard barracks in Spain's restive Basque country on Wednesday, killing one man and wounding four others, police told AFP.

The attack in the town of Legutiano happened around 3am (0100 GMT) without a warning by anyone claiming to speak on behalf of ETA, the militant Basque separatist group, a spokeswoman for regional Basque police said.

All the victims were civil guards and police were working on the hypothesis that ETA had been behind the attack, she added.

Three of the wounded at the barracks were rushed to hospital while two other people, were retrieved from rubble, said Basque police. One was dead and one wounded.

The van was parked a few metres (yards) from the barracks. National radio said the dead man was a civil guard.

Forty people, including families of the civil guards who also live in the barracks, were evacuated after the blast and the area was cordoned off, police said.

The people suspected of having triggered the attack fled by car, which was found by police officers in the nearby town of Abadino.

This attack bears all the hallmarks of ETA's work. The group has launched attacks against civil guards’ barracks in the past and has never phoned in warnings, as it does when bombing targets used by civilians.

Before this attack, the last victim of ETA was the former socialist town councillor Isaias Carrasco, who was gunned down in the Basque town of Mondragon on March 7, two days before Spanish parliamentary elections.

In December, two civil guards were also killed by an ETA commando in southwestern France, where they were on an intelligence gathering mission.

ETA militants on Friday claimed responsibility for four bomb attacks -- two on Socialist Party offices in the Basque cities of Bilbao on April 17 and Elgoibar on April 20 and two on television transmitters in the Basque region on March 30 and April 12.

ETA, whose initials stand for Euskadi ta Askatasuna, or Basque Homeland and Freedom in the Basque language, is considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States.

The group is blamed for over 820 deaths during its four-decade-old fight for a Basque nation taking in parts of northwestern Spain and southwestern France.

It announced a "permanent ceasefire" in March 2006 but called it off in June 2007, saying it was frustrated with a lack of concessions by the socialist government during peace talks.

Since then, ETA has claimed responsibility for about 20 attacks while Spanish authorities have adopted a hard line, arresting dozens of suspected members of ETA and Batasuna, its banned political wing.