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The BBC's Orla Guerin reports
"Once again Spaniards are getting used to living with fear"
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The BBC's Daniel Schweimler
"The funeral was watched closely across Spain"
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Saturday, 22 January, 2000, 16:21 GMT
Spain mourns bomb victim

The funeral was seen as a focus for national mourning

The funeral of the Spanish army officer who was killed in a car bomb attack by the Basque separatist group, ETA, has been taking place in Madrid.

Among those present were Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, and other leading Spanish politicians as well as senior members of the armed forces.

More on ETA
ETA's bloody record
Leaders in the shadows
Timeline: Key events
The Irish connection
Who are the Basques?
At a ceremony presided over by the military Bishop Jose Manuel Estepa, the remains of Lieutenant-Colonel Pedro Antonio Blanco Garcia, were carried into the central patio of the armed force headquarters in central Madrid to the sound of funeral music.

Moments later, mass was said for the 42-year-old father of two who was killed when a nearby car blew up.

Prime Minister Aznar places a medal on the coffin
Our correspondent says the funeral has been the focus of mourning for the whole Spanish nation.

At Saturday's ceremony, the dead officer's wife, Maria Concepcion Martin, was presented with a military medal, while tributes came in from those who knew him.

His 16-year-old daughter, 11-year-old son and relatives were also present.

Public condemnation

The attack, which also injured several civilians - including a 14-year-old girl - has been condemned by tens of thousands of Spaniards, who took to the streets in cities throughout the country to voice their protest and call for peace.

Click here for a map of the bomb scene

The demonstrations took place in Madrid, the Basque cities of San Sebastian and Bilbao and in several other major cities.

Further demonstrations are planned over the next few days, with the largest due to take place in Madrid on Sunday.

Prime Minister Aznar has reiterated his tough stance toward ETA, saying that the separatist organisation is wrong ant that violence will not be allowed to prevail.

ETA's actions
Sep 98: Ceasefire starts
3 Dec 99: Ceasefire ends
21 &22 Dec 99: Police intercept two vans loaded with explosives
30 Dec 99: Police find bomb
"The government will not retreat one jot in meeting its responsibility to safeguard the freedom and the safety of citizens and to fight against terrorism," the prime minister said after the bomb attack.

ETA has not admitted causing the explosion but has been blamed for it by politicians, the police and the public.

The group announced last month that it was ending a 14-month ceasefire. The government had expressed concern about a possible attack in the run-up to the general election on 12 March.

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See also:
21 Jan 00 |  Europe
ETA blamed for car bombs
22 Jan 00 |  Europe
Northern Ireland: ETA's brother struggle
02 Dec 99 |  Europe
ETA's bloody record
21 Jan 00 |  Europe
Picture gallery: Madrid car bombs
15 Jan 00 |  Europe
Rival Basques march for self-rule
31 Dec 99 |  Europe
French police arrest suspected ETA leader
21 Dec 99 |  Europe
ETA attack 'foiled'

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