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Friday, 27 July, 2001, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
Catalan radicals blamed for bank bomb
Torrevieja flat after explosion
Tuesday's blast prompted fears of a new ETA campaign
Spanish police say a bomb which destroyed a bank in Barcelona in the early hours of Friday appears to have been the work of local anti-establishment radicals, and not ETA, the Basque separatist group.


Certainly it was the work of some violent group in Catalonia

Spanish police spokesman
Three people were lightly injured by flying glass when the explosion hit a branch of the La Caixa bank at 0230 (0030GMT).

Police investigators say the bomb was home-made, using a canister of camping gas, whereas the Basque separatist group ETA normally uses more sophisticated explosives like dynamite.

"Certainly it was the work of some violent group in Catalonia," said a police spokesman.

"We don't think it was ETA."

Marxist group

Low intensity attacks on business premises have recently increased in Catalonia with more than 200 small explosions in the past five years.

The outlawed Marxist group, Grapo, and The First of October Anti-Fascist Resistance Group have been blamed for previous small attacks on bank buildings in Barcelona.

The BBC correspondent in Madrid, Flora Botsford, says early speculation pointed to ETA, which had promised to step up attacks in areas of Spain popular with tourists.

Car bomb

On Thursday, Spanish police defused a powerful car bomb that was primed to explode at the airport in the southern city of Malaga - one of the hubs of Spain's lucrative tourist industry.

ETA car bomb
Car bombs are a common ETA tactic
Bomb experts were summoned to the airport early on Thursday after receiving a telephone warning from a caller claiming to be an ETA member.

It took disposal experts some five hours to defuse the car bomb, which was estimated to contain 50-60kg of explosives, and had been left in a Peugeot car parked at the city's airport.

ETA, which has been waging a violent campaign for independence since the 1960s, earlier warned foreign tourists of "undesirable consequences" should they visit Spain this year.

On Tuesday, an ETA member blew herself up and injured several other people when handling explosives in a resort in Torrevieja, near Alicante, eastern Spain.

Vitoria bomb

A second bomb exploded on Friday in the lobby of an apartment block in the Basque city of Vitoria, but did not cause injuries, police said.

They said they were investigating whether a possible ETA target was living in the building.

ETA has said it was responsible for a series of attacks throughout Spain this year which have included attacks on police and local politicians.

It has admitted to 34 killings in the last 18 months.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"ETA is Spain's deadliest terrorist group"
The BBC's Flora Botsford
"ETA's main enemy will always be public vigilance"
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