October 25, 2005

Bombs explode near law courts in 4 Spanish towns

MADRID (Reuters) - Bombs exploded near magistrates courts
in four Spanish towns early on Tuesday and police said they
suspected the armed Basque separatist group ETA was to blame.

The explosions damaged buildings but no one was injured,
officials said.

Basque police said a caller claiming to represent ETA
warned the newspaper Gara shortly before one bomb exploded in a
rubbish bin in the Basque town of Guernica. Journalists at the
scene said the bomb twisted a railing outside a school near the

There were also explosions at Ordizia and Amurrio in the
Basque country and the fourth blast, caused by a home-made bomb
placed by the window of a court, was at Berriozar in Navarre, a
region adjoining the Basque country, a government official

ETA, classed as a terrorist organization by Spain, the
European Union and the United States, has killed nearly 850
people since 1968 in its campaign for an independent Basque
state carved out of northern Spain and southwestern France.

Police in both countries have arrested dozens of ETA
suspects in the last year, including many senior leaders.

ETA has carried out about 20 minor attacks this year, but
has not killed anyone since May 2003.

The Socialist government recently offered to talk to ETA if
the group first laid down its arms, but ETA has continued to
carry out sporadic bombings.