Police probe ETA links on Mallorca after bombings


Tue, Aug 11, 2009 - Page 6

Spanish police are investigating whether the armed Basque group ETA still has an active unit on Mallorca following the planting of three small bombs on the popular Mediterranean tourist island.

Speaking on Cadena SER radio, Regional Interior Ministry delegate Ramon Socias said: “We have to work on both hypotheses; that they are still here and that they may have quit the island.”

He said investigations should establish if the small blasts on Sunday were triggered by timer devices, in which case the devices could have been planted days ago and the militants could have already fled.

One bomb went off in La Rigoleta restaurant on the Can Pere Antoni beachfront in Palma de Mallorca and the second in an underground passage at the central Plaza Mayor square, the government said. Officers deactivated a bomb left at Bar Enco.

The blasts, which caused no injuries, came just over a week after ETA killed two police officers in a bomb attack on Mallorca aimed at striking fear among tourists at the height of the summer season.

Police searched a hotel in the island’s capital, Palma de Mallorca, for a possible fourth bomb, the government said.

Earlier on Sunday, ETA claimed responsibility for four other bombings this summer that killed three people — including the two police officers killed in Mallorca on July 30 — and injured dozens more.

State-run broadcaster TVE said on its late afternoon news bulletin that one bomb that exploded was in a beach bag hidden in the ceiling of a women’s bathroom in the restaurant.

The restaurant, however, had been evacuated following two telephone calls made to a taxi company in Spain’s northern Basque region, El Pais newspaper said. The caller, who said he was calling on ETA’s behalf, warned of the bombs.

Mallorca is one of Europe’s main tourist destinations. In June, about 2.6 million passengers used Mallorca airport.