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Europe

Three bombs explode in Mallorca; no injuries reported

Video by Luke BROWN , Margaux CHOURAQUI , Rachel MARUSAK

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-08-10

Three bombs exploded Sunday in the capital of the Spanish resort island of Mallorca after a telephone warning from the Basque separatist group ETA. There were no serious injuries, according to media reports.

A small bomb went off in the central square of Palma de Mallorca, Spain on Sunday, taking the number of explosions in the Spanish island to three.
 
"There has been a third explosion under the Plaza Mayor (central square), but it was a small device, even weaker than the other two," a government spokesman in Mallorca said.
 
Two other small bombs went off at restaurants in the capital of Mallorca earlier on Sunday but media reports said there were no injuries.
 
The explosions followed a phone warning made in the name of Basque separatist group ETA, the website of Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported.

One explosion went off in the women's toilets of a beachfront restaurant, La Rigoletta, in the city of Palma de Majorca. A security cordon was thrown up around the restaurant, an AFP photographer at the scene said.
   
Local authorities did not release any details on the second blast.
   
A spokesman for the Basque regional government's interior ministry said a taxi company in the Basque region, in Spain's northeast, had received earlier Sunday a warning in ETA's name that there were several bombs planted in restaurants in Palma de Majorca, a popular tourist spot.    
   
It was the second recent attack on the holiday island at the height of the tourist season, following a July 30 bombing that killed two Civil Guard officers for which ETA claimed responsibility.
   
Spanish media said a third bomb was planted on Majorca Sunday, but that was not confirmed by police.
   
A major manhunt was launched following the blasts with around 1,600 members of the security forces involved in the search.
   
Earlier Sunday, a statement from ETA claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the July blast and another in June that killed a police inspector.
   
In a statement released to the pro-independence Basque daily Gara, the group claimed the July 30 car bomb attack outside a police barracks on Majorca that killed two members of the Civil Guards paramilitary police.
   
The group also said it was behind the June 19 car bomb that killed a 49-year-old police inspector Garcia in the Basque town of Arrigorriaga.
   
ETA's statement claimed more attacks, including the car bombing of a Civil Guards barracks in the northern city of Burgos on July 29 that injured 40 people, and the bombing of the offices of the ruling Socialist Party in the Basque town of Durango on July 10 in which no one was injured.
   
Founded half a century ago, ETA is blamed for the deaths of 828 people in its violent campaign for an independent Basque homeland encompassing parts of northern Spain and southwest France.
   
Considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States, the group resumed its campaign of violence in mid-2007 after a 15-month ceasefire called for ultimately unsuccessful talks with the Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Date created : 2009-08-09

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