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SPAIN

Bomb blast at Basque TV headquarters, no injuries

2 min

A car bomb exploded in Spain's Basque country near the headquarters of TV station ETB in the northern Spanish town of Bilbao without causing any injuries. The building had been evacuated following an ETA bomb warning.

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AFP- A bomb exploded near the headquarters of the Basque television network in the city of Bilbao Wednesday, minutes after the area was evacuated following a warning call in the name of the separatist group ETA, police said.

There appeared to be no casualties in the blast, which took place at 11:05 am (1005 GMT), a police spokesman said.

Spanish television showed a huge column of smoke arising from the Basque Radio and Television (EiTB) headquarters in Bilbao, in Spain's northern Basque Country.

The building and its surrounded area were evacuated just minutes before the blast after a person claiming to represent ETA called the local fire service to warn of an imminent explosion at the site.

Police also spotted a suspect vehicle near the building, and its owner was found tied up some distance away.

Media professionals have frequently been the targets of ETA, which is blamed for the deaths of 825 people in its 40-year campaign for an independent Basque homeland comprising parts of northern Spain and southwestern France.

The group called off a 15-month-old ceasefire in June last year, saying it had grown tired of a lack of concessions on the part of the socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in their tentative peace talks.

That truce had effectively ended when ETA bombed a car park at Madrid airport on December 30, 2006, killing two Ecuadoran men who were sleeping in their cars.

The government has repeatedly ruled out any further talks with the group, which is considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States.

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