Car bomb in Spain wounds 10

September 21, 2008 7:06:17 AM PDT
A car bomb exploded outside a police station in Spain's northern Basque region early Sunday, causing major damage and injuring 10 people, hours after another explosion in the regional capital, officials said. Police blamed armed separatist group ETA, which has been fighting since 1968 for an independent Basque state in northern Spain and western France. The bombings occurred three days after a Spanish court banned a pro-independence Basque political party for having ETA links.

The first car bomb exploded next to a bank's headquarters in the regional capital, Vitoria, a regional Interior Ministry official said. It caused damage, but no one was reported injured.

Several hours later, another car bomb detonated outside a police station in the port town of Ondarroa, according to another regional ministry official. Three police officers and seven civilians were injured, treated mostly for cuts and hearing problems.

Two people remained hospitalized, including a 15-year-old girl with a serious head injury and a policeman with hand injuries and hearing problems, officials said. The girl was transferred to a larger hospital for specialized treatment.

Each bomb contained around 220 pounds of explosives, an official said.

The second explosion blew large holes in the police station's front wall. The force of the blast also shattered windows and damaged parked cars, an AP reporter at the scene said.

A person claiming to speak on behalf of ETA phoned in a warning before the first blast, allowing authorities to clear the area, the first official said. No warning was given before the second blast, the other official said. Both officials spoke on customary condition of anonymity.

ETA, which has killed more than 825 people in the past four decades, is considered a terrorist group by the U.S., Spain and the European Union.

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