May 25, 2005

ETA hace estallar un coche bomba en Madrid, 18 53 herido

Car Bomb Explodes in Madrid; 18 53 Injured (link)
May 25, 9:52 AM (ET)

MADRID, Spain (AP) - A powerful car bomb exploded in Madrid Wednesday after a warning call from the armed Basque separatist group ETA, police said, in the latest of a string of attacks since Spain's prime minister offered talks with the group if it renounces violence.

Eighteen people were slightly injured, said Beatriz Martin, the city's emergency medical department spokeswoman. The explosion occurred around 9:30 a.m. in a working-class district north of the Spanish capital.

Police cordoned off the area where the bomb went off after an anonymous caller to the Basque newspaper Gara, which often serves as a mouthpiece for ETA, said a bomb would explode inside a Renault van.

Television images showed a large column of black smoke rising from the area of the explosion.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, speaking in a previously scheduled Senate session shortly after the explosion, insisted that "the only fate that the terrorist group ETA has is to lay down weapons and dissolve."

Right, I'm sure ETA is really a-scared, señor Zapatero. Al-Qaeda blew up a train and you ran home from the front like the French. ETA has been killing Spainards (albeit, domestically) for over 30 years---and you are effectively combatting
Police estimated the bomb contained 40 to 44 pounds of explosives, Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso told reporters. "The explosion was really a big one," he said.

Alonso said ETA remains "alive, active and operative" despite the arrest of more than 200 suspected members in recent years.

If you can read Spanish, the Spanish newspaper ABC's converage can be found here.

UPDATE: Via Barcepundit:

More updated information in the Spanish press: it's 53 injured in total, though only 5 required hospitalization; and the bomb went off 15 minutes before it was supposed to according to the call warning of the explosion. That's very usual for ETA bastards, and it has costed several lives from police in the past when they were still cordoning the area. Sometimes they have warned of the right time, but failed to mention the "detail" that there's a second one meant to explode 15-30 minutes later, catching them off guard.

Posted by Kyer at May 25, 2005 11:23 AM

Well, he can always withdraw all Spanish troops to Portugal.

Posted by: Eric at May 25, 2005 06:29 PM