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Europe

Car bomb kills two civil guards in Mallorca

Video by Regane RANUCCI

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-07-31

Two civil guards were killed on Spain's Mallorca island Thursday when their booby-trapped car exploded near a barracks, officials say. Police later defused a second booby-trap bomb found under a civil guard vehicle, a civil guard spokesman said.

Police defused a second booby-trap bomb found under a civil guard vehicle on the Spanish island of Mallorca where a car bomb earlier Thursday killed two policemen, a civil guard spokesman said.

 

"A second bomb placed under an official vehicle was found at another barracks than the one affected by the first attack. It was then defused," he said.
  
The two civil guards, aged 27 and 28, were killed when their vehicle blew up outside a barracks in the coastal town of Palmanova, the regional government said.
  
Several people were also injured in the explosion, which bore the hallmarks of ETA.

 

Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero blamed Basque separatist group ETA for the car bomb.
  
Spanish authorities temporarily closed the air and seaports on the island, a popular holiday destination, immediately after a car bomb exploded to prevent the bombers' escape in a move the government dubbed "Operation Cage".


"Two civil guard officers who were in an official vehicle were killed in an explosion," a spokeswoman for the civil guards told AFP.
  
Several people were also injured in the powerful explosion in the tourist area of the town of Calvia, which occurred at around 2:00 pm (1400 GMT), said a spokeswoman for the regional government of the Balearic islands.
  
Spanish media said the bombing bore the hallmarks of the armed Basque separatist group ETA which has traditionally targeted civil guards.
  
"We saw a big explosion, a column of smoke in front of the civil guard barracks," a man named Paco who witnessed the attack told public radio RNE.
  
The area where the blast occurred is near the Balearic islands capital Palma de Majorca, a magnet for tourists.
  
The Spanish government blamed ETA for setting off a powerful car bomb outside a police barracks in the northern city of Burgos in the early hours of Wednesday which injured over 60 people, including several women and children, and blew off most of the 14-storey building's facade.
  
ETA will on Friday mark the 50th anniversary of its founding by nationalist students inspired by Marxist-Leninist teachings, at a time when Spain was still run by right-wing dictator Francisco Franco.
  
It is blamed for the deaths of over 820 people as part of its campaign for an independent Basque homeland encompassing parts of northern Spain and southwest France.
  
Spanish newspaper El Mundo said on Sunday that security forces were on the alert after receiving information from France that ETA planned to bring three vans packed with explosives into Spain.
  
Spanish public television last month said a new "road map" of strategic plans by ETA reaffirmed its commitment to violence to achieve its aims.
  
"The terrorists believe that Basque independence is their irreversible goal. Only then will ETA no longer kill," TVE said, quoting a document that it said outlined the group's strategy put together over the past three years.
  
The last fatal attack blamed on ETA was on June 19, when a policeman was killed in a car-bomb blast near the Basque city of Bilbao.

Date created : 2009-07-30

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