Bomb blast near Basque TV office

Area in city of Bilbao evacuated after warning call from armed separatist group Eta.

    Police said a van parked at the back of the building was used as a car bomb [EPA]

    Media workers have frequently been the targets of Eta, which is blamed for the deaths of 825 people in its 40-year campaign for an independent Basque homeland comprising parts of northern Spain and southwestern France.

    Police operations

    Eta officially called off a 15-month-old ceasefire in June last year, saying it had grown tired of a lack of concessions on the part of the socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain's prime minister, in their tentative peace talks.

    That truce had effectively ended when Eta bombed a car park at Madrid airport on December 30, 2006, killing two Ecuadoran men who were sleeping in their cars.

    Eta is blamed for the deaths of four people this year, including a municipal councillor killed just days before general elections in March and a Basque businessman who was gunned down in the street early this month.

    Police operations in Spain and France earlier this year led to the arrest of Javier Lopez Pena, the group's presumed overall leader, in the French city of Bordeaux in an operation Spanish officials at the time claimed had "decapitated" the organisation.

    In November, French police arrested Miguel de Garikoitz Aspiazu Rubina, known as 'Txeroki', who is suspected of being the head of Eta's military operations.

    Earlier this month, Aitzol Iriondo Yarza, Txeroki's suspected successor, was detained in southwestern France.

    France and Spain have stepped up co-operation to crack down on Eta since a special accord was signed in January allowing Spanish agents to operate in southwestern France.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Zimbabwe military's statement after seizing power

    Zimbabwe military's statement after seizing power

    Major General SB Moyo addresses the nation after Zimbabwe's military seizes state TV, blocks off government offices.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    Aamir Khan: The Snake Charmer

    Aamir Khan: The Snake Charmer

    Can Aamir Khan create lasting change in Indian society or is he just another Bollywood star playing the role of a hero?