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Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 17:45 UK

Spain officials mourn bomb victim

Colleagues carry the coffin of Spanish Civil Guard Juan Pinuel Villalon in Vitoria, 15 May 08
The bomb victim was honoured with a state funeral

Spanish ministers and royalty have attended the funeral of a civil guard killed in a car bombing blamed on the banned Basque separatist group Eta.

The coffin of Juan Pinuel Villalon was carried into the cathedral in the Basque city of Vitoria by eight civil guards, followed by his widow.

He died on Wednesday when a van blew up outside a police barracks in Legutiano, near Vitoria. Four officers were hurt.

Peace vigils were held in several cities across Spain on Thursday.

Spain's Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia were among the hundreds of mourners in Vitoria. The dignitaries also included Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba and Basque government leader Juan Jose Ibarretxe.

No group has said it carried out the attack. But Mr Ibarretxe blamed Eta, saying it was ruining the name of the Basque people with its campaign of violence.

No warning was given before the attack on Wednesday.

Eta was blamed for a bomb blast in April in the Basque city of Bilbao, which wounded seven policemen.

The group said it was behind the murder of a former Socialist councillor outside his home, two days before the 9 March general election, which was won by the Socialists.


SEE ALSO
Eta blamed for Spain bomb death
14 May 08 |  Europe
Seven police hurt in Spanish bomb
17 Apr 08 |  Special Reports
Timeline: Spain
11 Mar 08 |  Country profiles
Who are Eta?
11 Mar 04 |  Europe


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