Monday, February 9, 2009
A van packed with explosives blew up at a trade fair center in the Spanish capital, Madrid shortly after 9:00 a.m. Monday. The blast was preceded by a phoned in warning from the assailants, which allowed police and fire crews to evacuate the area. Authorities believe the ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna), a Basque separatist group which is on the United States list of foreign terrorist organizations, is responsible.
The attack comes three weeks before Basque regional elections and a day after the Spanish Supreme Court banned two nationalist party members from running for office in the upcoming election.
The van exploded around 9:00 a.m. local time (3:00 a.m.EST) outside the HQ of the building company Ferrovial Agroman, at the Campo de las Naciones. A warning about the pending attack was phoned into the city's local chapter of the Red Cross about 90 minutes before the explosion. The caller said the bomb would explode at 9:00 a.m. local time. No one was injured or killed, but the blast shattered windows in buildings and destroyed about 30 vehicles surrounding the blast zone. A nearby railway line and a bridge were also damaged.
Ferrovial is involved in building a high-speed train line in the Basque region, a project criticized by leftist Basque nationalists and ecologists and targeted by ETA in previous attacks. In December 2008, Ignacio Uria, a businessman linked to this project, was shot and killed. The ETA claimed responsibility for the attack. Ferrovial has not commented on the incident.
== Sources ==
"Bomb explodes in Madrid after ETA warning" — CNN, February 9, 2009
"Van bomb shakes Spanish capital" — BBC News Online, February 9, 2009
"Car Bomb Explodes at Trade Fair Center in Spain" — ABC News, February 9, 2009
== External links ==
US list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)