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The BBC's Emma Simpson
"Spain is in the midst of an upsurge in terrorist attacks"
 real 56k

Monday, 9 October, 2000, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Spanish prosecutor shot dead
Bomb disposal officers examine a car in Seville
Bomb disposal officers examine a car in Seville
A Spanish prosecutor was shot dead on Monday in an attack being blamed on Basque separatist group ETA.

Everything points to ETA terrorists

Justice Minister Angel Acebes

The shooting was followed just hours later with a car bomb explosion nearby, but no one was injured in that incident.

Luis Portero, the chief prosecutor of the Andalucia regional court, was shot by three gunmen outside his house at 1430 local time (1230 GMT) in the southern city of Granada.

Portero
Portero had four children
Mr Portero, 59, died in hospital less than an hour after the attack, which both radio and television blamed on ETA.

"This is an attack against someone who had dedicated his life to defending freedom," Justice Minister Angel Acebes said on national television.

Car bombs

Spanish National Radio reported that a car bomb exploded two hours after Mr Portero was shot on a nearby street.

Wreckage of car bomb
A car bomb exploded in Chipiona on Saturday
Earlier on Monday, an army officer in Seville found a bomb in his car, believed to have been planted by ETA. It is the third bomb found by military personnel in the Andalucian city in the last few days.

ETA, which has been fighting for an independent homeland for 30 years, has been increasingly active in recent months.

The group has claimed responsibility for killing 12 people since breaking off a 14-month ceasefire last December.

It has also been blamed for the killing last month of a town councillor in Barcelona.

Arrests

In response to the attack the Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar, said his government would continue to fight terrorism "with the same resolution we devote every day".


Mr Aznar, who was speaking in Rome where he is on an official visit, is himself a survivor of an ETA car-bomb attack in 1995.

On Thursday, Spanish police arrested nine people accused of aiding ETA, in a second round-up of ETA supporters in recent weeks.

The detainees were said to be involved in a civil disobedience campaign to refuse identity cards issued by the Spanish authorities and use Basque ones instead.

Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar
Aznar expressed his sympathy to Portero's family
Those held included a city councillor for ETA's political wing, Euskal Herritarrok.

The Spanish public has been putting great pressure on the authorities to take action against ETA and its political supporters.

Tens of thousands of people have joined recent marches calling for an end to the violence.

At least 800 people have been killed in ETA's 32-year-long campaign.

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See also:

16 Sep 00 | Europe
French detain 'ETA leader'
13 Sep 00 | Europe
Basque arrests hailed a 'victory'
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