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ETA set off car bomb in La Rioja, Spain

Saturday, March 22, 2008

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Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, or ETA, is a Basque nationalist paramilitary organization active in Spain and France. The organization's goal is sovereignty for Basque Country and it uses both political and violent means to further its cause.

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40 families have been evacuated from their homes in the Guardia Civil barracks in Calahorra, La Rioja, today after a car bomb exploded, because of the damage done to the building. There were only some slight cuts and bruises caused by the blast which happened around 2pm. Among the injured is a Civil Guard who suffered a neck injury when he threw himself to the ground. National Radio says that eight people were treated in the local hospital, and all had been allowed home after treatment.

The device was placed by the Basque terrorist group ETA. A warning was given in the form of a phone call to the DYA road assistance association in Vizcaya in the name of ETA half an hour before it went off. The bomb was placed in a blue Honda Civic which was blown across the street by the force of the explosion. The owners of the vehicle where found later this afternoon, tied up in a building in a mountainous region some 100kms away. They have told the police that their car was taken from at gunpoint during the morning.

The place where the bomb exploded is a busy one, not least because one of Spain's famous Holy Week processions had only just finished. The same barracks suffered another ETA attack, again without victims, back in 1983. The Civil Guard feared that a second device may have been placed in the same area today.

A demonstration against the outrage has been called for outside the Calahorra Town Hall at 8pm tonight. The President of the La Rioja regional government, Pedro Sanz, will visit the scene and take part in the demonstration. He said that a massacre could have taken place had the area not been cleared.

Today’s attack comes just two weeks after the last ETA victim, the ex Socialist councillor, Isaías Carrasco, was shot out his home in Mondragón.

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