Three Killed, 13 Injured In Terrorist Attacks
SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (AP) _ A bomb left by two motorcycle-riding youths Saturday killed a local military governor, his wife and son as they waited at a traffic light here, police and reports said. Nine people were injured.
Later in the day, bombs exploded in two supermarkets and three car dealerships, injuring four people.
Radio National and the independent news agency Europa Press said the Basque separatist organization ETA claimed responsibility for the attacks in a message sent to several newspapers in the Basque region.
The explosions occurred on the seventh anniversary of a home-rule statute that grants limited autonomy to the Basque region. The statute was approved by a majority of the 2.2 million Basques living in three northern provinces.
In Bilbao, 55 miles west of San Sebastian, between 15,000 and 20,000 people attended a rally organized by the political arm of ETA to demand independence for the region.
Authorities identified the dead in San Sebastian as Gen. Rafael Garrido, 59, military governor of Guipuzcoa province, his wife, Daniela Velasco, and his son, Daniel, 21.
Hospital officials in San Sebastian said nine people were hospitalized, and that five of them, including Garrido’s 21-year-old driver, Jesus Ferrer Lozano, were ″in extremely critical condition.″
The military government of Guipuzcoa province said in a statement the attack occurred at 10:30 a.m. in downtown San Sebastian.
It said two youths on a motorcycle placed a sports bag on the roof of Garrido’s partially armored car, and that the bag exploded.
Spanish National Radio, or RNE, said the bag contained plastic explosives. It also said the car was waiting at a traffic light when the youths approached.
RNE quoted witnesses as saying that the blast destroyed the general’s car and blew out windows in surrounding buildings. The witnesses said broken glass covered the blood-stained sidewalk.
The news agency EFE said passers-by rushed to aid the injured, grabbing material from shops along the street to make bandages and tourniquets.
Garrido had been military governor of Guipuzcoa province since August 1985. Before that, he served as military attache at the Spanish Embassy in West Germany.
Spain has 45 military governors who command all military units in their respective provinces, including the paramilitary civil guard. The provinces also have civilian governments.
Several bombs exploded at two supermarkets in Vitoria, and EFE said four people suffered minor injuries.
Basque police said bombs also exploded in three French car dealerships in Ordizia, Bergara and Urretxu, causing damage but no injuries. ETA has carried out bombings against French businesses to protest the expulsion of suspected ETA members from France.
Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez told RNE that the terrorists ″don’t believe in living in peace nor in freedom and are a real mafia ... with whom it is not possible to negotiate of make any concessions.″
Jose Antonio Ardanza, head of the Basque autonomous government, said during ceremonies commemorating home rule that that Basques must ″unite around the statute.″
″There are those who pretend to transform this day meant to be full of happiness and hope into one of grief,″ said Ardanza.
At the Bilbao rally, organized by the Herri Batasuna party, the political arm of ETA, demonstrators called on the government to negotiate with ETA and demanded independence for the region.
In Vitoria, between 10,000 and 15,000 people demonstrated for the release of a 69-year-old Basque businessman kidnapped Oct. 15 by ETA, RNE said. The terrorists demanded to be paid a ″revolutionary tax″ in exchange for the release of the hostage.
Since taking up arms in 1968, ETA has claimed responsibility for the deaths of nearly 600 police, military and civil guard officers. Forty-one people have been killed in political violence so far this year. ETA, which is Basque for ″homeland and liberty,″ has claimed responsibility for 35 of the killings.