Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Friday, 19 June 2009 12:52 UK

Car bomb kills Spanish officer


Footage of the aftermath showed the car on fire

A senior police officer has been killed in a car bomb attack in the Spanish city of Bilbao, in the Basque region.

Eduardo Puelles Garcia, an inspector, died inside the vehicle in a car park in the city's Della Pina district.

The Basque regional government has blamed the bombing on the militant separatist group Eta, which formally ended a ceasefire two years ago.

Eta's violent four-decade campaign for a sovereign Basque state has cost more than 800 lives.

"There was an attack, a big explosion, that burnt up the individual inside the car and damaged other vehicles nearby," Basque regional government's Interior Minister Rodolfo Ares was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency.


If confirmed, it would be the group's first fatal attack in six months; and the first since the Spanish Socialist Party took control of the Basque regional government, following elections in March, says the BBC's Steve Kingstone in Madrid.

ETA declared that election undemocratic.

Spain's Prime Minister, Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero, who is attending the summit of European Union leaders in Brussels, blamed Eta:

"We knew it could happen again even if the terror organisation is weaker than ever because of the action of the security forces, the judges, the tribunals, the international cooperation."

"We knew it could happen again but we will never resign ourselves to accept that," Mr Zapatero added.

The Spanish government had already declared the peace process "finished" after a bomb blast by Eta killed two Ecuadorean men at a Madrid airport car park in December 2006.

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