July 9, 2005

ETA still targeting Spain govt despite truce-paper

MADRID (Reuters) - Basque guerrillas ETA will still target
members of the Spanish government despite a recent ceasefire
for politicians, Spanish newspapers reported on Saturday,
quoting ETA's internal bulletin.

The group, which wants a Basque homeland carved out of
Spain and France, also said it wrote to the International
Olympic Committee (IOC) to try to dissuade them from awarding
the 2012 games to Madrid, the papers reported.

ETA announced a truce against elected politicians in June,
but in the July bulletin it said "state authorities and those
with responsibilities in the government" were not included, El
Pais reported.

The news is a further knock to the government's peace
attempts. The Socialist government said in May it would talk to
ETA, which has killed about 850 people since 1968, if it laid
down its arms. The move was heavily criticized by the
opposition Popular Party and many Spaniards.

Since then there have been a string of attacks, although
the group, which has suffered dozens of arrests recently, has
not killed anyone for two years.

When the partial ceasefire was announced in a letter
published in Basque newspaper Gara, the government said it fell
well short of its demand for the group to give up its arms.

The newspapers also quoted the internal bulletin as saying
the group had written to members of the IOC in May to try to
stop them giving the Olympics to Madrid. They also warned the
IOC of further attacks in the capital.

In June a car bomb exploded outside a stadium in Madrid,
which was the centerpiece of the city's Olympic bid, after a
warning call in the name of ETA.

An ETA suspect arrested in April was carrying information
about the Olympic bid when he was caught in France.

Madrid lost out to London in a decision announced this
week, before that city suffered a series of train and bus