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ETA threatens to target Basque high-speed train projects

Latest update : 2009-01-23

Basque armed separatist group ETA, which has killed 825 people in its 40-year-old fight for a Basque autonomous province, said it would "target" people and companies working on a high-speed train project in the northern Basque country.

AFP- Basque armed separatist group ETA warned Wednesday it would "target" people and companies working on a high-speed train project in the northern Basque country.

ETA, which has killed 825 people in a 40-year-old campaign of bombings and shootings for an independent Basque homeland, also claimed three attacks in a statement sent to pro-independence newspaper Gara.

"While the destruction brought about by this big project continues, decided by decree and without public debate, the chosen officials and their holdings (in the TAV high-speed train project) will become targets of ETA," the statement said.

On December 4 ETA had claimed responsibility for the assassination the previous day of 71-year-old Basque entrepreneur Ignacio Uria whose company was taking part in the TAV work.

Later in December radio Cadena SER said the slaying of Uria had resulted in more bodyguards being taken on to protect the businessmen linked to the high-speed rail project.

"The entrepreneurs and those in charge of the work will need 105 extra bodyguards," the radio said quoting security firms.

The cost of protecting these "50-odd businessmen" was estimated at 10 million euros a year.

Ignacio Uria Mendizabal, owner of an enterprise working on the rail project, was gunned down on December 3 near the headquarters of the business at Azpeitia in the Basque country.

Date created : 2009-01-21