Policeman killed in Spain car bombing

A car bomb detonated outside a police building in the town of Legutiano in Spain, killing one civil guard and injuring four others. Regional government officials blamed Basque separatist movement ETA for the attack. Guy Hedgecoe reports.


The explosion of a booby-trapped van outside a civil guard barracks in Spain's restive Basque country on Wednesday killed a man and wounded four other people, police told AFP.

Spanish media attributed the blast to the armed Basque separatist group ETA.

The attack in the town of Legutiano happened around 3:00 am (0100 GMT) without a warning by a anyone claiming to speak on behalf of ETA, a spokesman for regional Basque police said.

Three of the wounded were rushed to a hospital while two other people -- one dead and one wounded -- were retrieved from rubble.

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

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

The assailants fled by car which was found by police officers in the nearby town of Abadino.

Former socialist town councillor Isaias Carrasco became the latest ETA victim before Wednesday's attack, when he 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.

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.

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