Former Police Terror Expert Shot
BILBAO, Spain (AP) _ Two suspected members of the Basque separatist group ETA gravely wounded a former police anti-terrorism expert as he drove his 3-year-old son to school Monday, police said.
Former Sgt. Jose Antonio Goikoetxea Asla, 42, formerly headed the anti- terrorism unit of the Ertzaintza, the regional police controlled by the autonomous government of the three-province northern Basque region.
He was suspended from duty for six years in 1991 for wiretapping Basque politicians’ conversations, police said. His suspension was under appeal.
Goikoetxea’s doctor said he was hospitalized in very serious condition.
His 3-year-old son was not injured, police said.
Police said the gunmen fled the scene of the shooting, which occurred shortly before 9 a.m. in Bilbao, 200 miles north of Madrid.
ETA, a Basque-language acronym for Basque Homeland and Liberty, has been blamed for 730 killings since it began a violent campaign in 1968 to win independence for the Basque region. Police say ETA is responsible for 13 deaths this year.
The Basque provinces have more autonomy than most of Spain’s 17 regions, including their own police force and taxation arrangements.