Three injured in Basque bombing

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The Independent Online

A bomb exploded in a Basque seaside resort in northern Spain early yesterday morning, slightly injuring three people, an official said.

Regional road assistance service DYA had received a call warning of the bomb and although the caller did not identify herself as a member of the armed Basque group ETA, the incident is similar to earlier bombs attributed to the group, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

The bomb exploded an hour later, at about 2.30am, as police were inspecting an area outside the offices of construction company Amenabar to the east of Zarautz, 34 miles from the French border, the spokesman told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity in keeping with government rules.

Amenabar is a Basque contractor involved in the construction of high-speed train links between Spanish cities, a network that is due eventually to link Madrid with Paris, Brussels and London. Basque separatists oppose closer ties with the rest of Spain, as well as with France.

A local resident was slightly cut in the face by broken glass and two police officers were treated for minor ear damage, the official said. The police were treated at the scene and did not require hospitalization, regional police said in a statement.

The device had been hidden in a backpack and had contained between 3 and 5 kilograms (6.6 and 11 pounds) of explosives, the spokesman said.

Some 6,000 separatists marched on Saturday in nearby San Sebastian against the high-speed rail project. On May 12, Amenabar suffered damage to two bulldozers after small devices exploded at a construction site in Hernani, near San Sebastian. The interior ministry attributed that attack to ETA.

The latest explosion follows the May 21 arrest in Bordeaux, France, of three suspected ETA leaders.

ETA has killed more than 825 people since the late 1960s in a violent campaign for an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France.