Bomb explodes in Spanish cathedral days before pilgrim festival

Nobody was injured in the blast at Basilica of Our Lady of the Pilar in Zaragoza

A bomb has exploded inside a cathedral in the north-eastern city of Zaragoza. Nobody was injured, but the building was damaged.

The blast occurred at about 1.50pm in a central aisle close to the main altar of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pilar, and people were evacuated from the building.

The explosion occurred just three days before the city’s annual Pilar festival, which attracts tens of thousands of people. An interior ministry official said no group has taken responsibility for the device, which police said was fashioned using a small camping gas canister.

The church dates to the 12th century, but it was mostly built between the 17th and 19th centuries. It took its name from a stone pillar inside, which some faithful believe was left there by the Virgin Mary. The pillar was not damaged by the explosion.