Group Defends Bombing in Spain
Aug. 14, 2002
%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)
MADRID, Spain (AP) _ The Basque separatist group ETA has defended a car bombing that killed two people, including a 6-year-old girl.
It said the target of the Aug. 4 blast _ a headquarters of the paramilitary Civil Guard and residence for their families in the resort town of Santa Pola _ was a legitimate military target.
The girl, Silvia Martinez, daughter of a guard member, was in the building when the bomb exploded outside.
In a statement sent to the Basque radio station Euskadi Irratia Tuesday night, ETA warned Civil Guard members against housing their families in such buildings, saying they ``are and will continue to be military targets.''
The group also warned Spanish lawmakers against voting to ban the party seen as ETA's political wing in an extraordinary session of Parliament on Aug. 26.
Normally ETA takes weeks to claim responsibility for attacks. But Spanish newspapers said the group acted quickly this time because of the proceedings under way in Parliament to ban the Batasuna party.
ETA said it will ``take measures'' against the parties orchestrating the drive against Batasuna, an apparent reference to the ruling Popular Party and the main opposition Socialist Party.
But ETA also warned lawmakers against even abstaining in the vote, saying it would accept nothing short of a vote against banning Batasuna.
This was an apparent message to a Catalan nationalist party and United Left, a small leftist grouping, which have hinted they might abstain.
The vote is on a bill urging the government to file suit with the Supreme Court under a controversial new law that allows the banning of parties deemed to support terrorism.
ETA has claimed responsibility for more than 800 killings in its 34-year drive to create an independent Basque homeland straddling areas of northern Spain and southwest France.