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Monday, 5 August, 2002, 17:59 GMT 18:59 UK
Spain blames ETA for deadly blast
A police officer examines the wreckage
About 40 people were injured in the attack
The Spanish Government has blamed the Basque separatist group ETA for a car bomb which killed two people in southern Spain on Sunday evening.


There was total chaos... there was a lady with an open wound on her head

Adolfo Castro
Santa Pola councillor

A policeman's six-year-old daughter and a 50-year-old man died when the bomb went off outside a police barracks in the coastal resort of Santa Pola near Alicante.

Several thousand people across Spain observed a minute's silence at midday on Monday and further demonstrations were expected later in the day.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, although car bombs are a tactic commonly used by ETA.

The group does not normally claim responsibility for its actions until weeks afterwards.

Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar interrupted his holiday to attend the funeral on Monday afternoon of the two victims.

Interior Minister Angel Acebes, who visited the scene of bombing, blamed the attack on the "terrorist, criminal organisation" ETA.

"Killing is the only thing these savages and dangerous delinquents know how to do," he said.

"We must defeat the ETA with international, judicial and police cooperation, and with effective police work," he added.

Campaign of fear

A judge who has taken charge of the investigation said that the girl killed was the daughter of a Civil Guard police officer.

A group of men stand in front of the damaged Civil Guard barracks in Santa Pola
The police barracks were badly damaged

She was playing in her bedroom when the blast sent furniture crashing on top of her.

The man who died had been waiting at a nearby bus stop.

About 40 people at the same bus stop were injured, four of them seriously, and were taken to a hospital.

"There was total chaos," town councillor Adolfo Castro told state radio.

"We helped the injured. The girl came out - we don't know where she came from - and she had a hole in her left temple."

"There was a lady with an open wound on her head. We found a man on the ground with a cut from his throat on down, you could see his aorta," Mr Castro said.

Police cordoned off surrounding streets amid fears of a second attack, and bomb disposal experts were checking another suspect vehicle.

Targeting tourism

ETA has frequently targeted Spain's $50bn tourist industry.

ETA flags
ETA presses for Basque outright independence

Police have been on high alert since the group announced this spring that it would target the Spanish resorts as part of its campaign.

Police blame ETA for a string of recent car bombs in resorts, which injured a number of people.

But there were no casualties as ETA usually gave police a telephone warning to give them time to evacuate the area.

The group typically times attacks to coincide with major political events, with several of the blasts coinciding with the EU summit in Seville in June.

ETA's last fatal attack was in March, when guerrillas shot dead a Socialist politician in the Basque town of Orio.

About 800 people have been killed in ETA's 32-year campaign for Basque independence.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Robert Hall
"Police are determined to offer what protection they can"
ABTA's Keith Betton
"So far no British tourists have been caught up in these attacks"

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22 Jun 02 | Europe
11 Jul 02 | UK
24 Jul 02 | Europe
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