Spanish Police Find More Explosives In Basque Region

January 5, 2007 7:14am CST
Spanish police Friday discovered 20 kilos of explosives in the Basque region, near where they found 100 kilos of explosives the day before, news reports said. The explosives were thought to have been left in the Basque locality of Atxondo by the armed Basque separatist group ETA, which ended a nine-month ceasefire with a car bombing at Madrid airport six days ago. Police also found bomb-making materials such as detonators, timers and aluminium powder, as well as equipment for falsifying car registration plates. The explosives and materials were inside several bags. The explosives were not ready for immediate use. The discovery was made near where police had found 100 kilos of explosives close to a parked car on Thursday. Police thought it possible that ETA had intended to pack the car with the explosives and to use the car bomb to break its ceasefire with an attack at Madrid airport on Christmas Eve. The discovery of a related arms cache, however, prompted ETA to abandon the explosives and postpone the attack until last Saturday, when another car bomb collapsed a Madrid airport parking lot, according to the hypothesis. The Basque government said all hypotheses remained open. The Madrid attack killed two and injured 26 people. It prompted the Socialist government to ditch an incipient peace process, which had been announced by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in June. Rescuers were Friday removing masses of rubble in an attempt to reach the remains of Diego Armando Estacio, 19, an Ecuadorian immigrant who was sleeping in a car when the bomb went off. It had taken rescuers hours to position a mini-camera to see into the car, where they spotted an arm believed to belong to Estacio. It was expected to take up to 14 hours to reach the body. The blast also killed another Ecuadorian, 35-year-old Carlos Alonso Palate, whose body was repatriated on Thursday. The two Ecuadorians were the first people killed by ETA since May 2003. ETA is blamed for more than 800 killings since 1968.
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