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Archive for Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Basque separatists blamed in deadly Spain bombing

October 31, 2000

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— A car bomb exploded in a residential area of the capital Monday, killing a Supreme Court judge, his bodyguard and driver in the deadliest attack blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA since it ended a 14-month cease-fire in December.

Thirty-five people were injured in the Madrid bombing, which tore holes in cars, shattered windows for blocks and left a haze of white smoke and burning debris scattered through the neighborhood.

The slain judge, 69-year-old Jose Francisco Querol, worked for a military section of the court. He held the rank of general and was due to retire next month.

Although no group claimed responsibility for the blast, Spanish politicians and news media immediately blamed ETA. The group has repeatedly used car bombs as part of its 32-year-old campaign for an independent Basque homeland in an area straddling northern Spain and southwest France.

"This morning we were again invaded by the pain of blind terrorism. ETA has caused a terrible attack in Madrid," King Juan Carlos said. "To the assassins goes our firm condemnation and the certainty that they will pay for their crimes sooner or later."

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