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Cablegate: Spain Investigates Five Bombs Claimed by Eta That

VZCZCXRO2411
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHMD #0798 2031554
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211554Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5118
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 3504

UNCLAS MADRID 000798

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/WE,

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ASEC SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN INVESTIGATES FIVE BOMBS CLAIMED BY ETA THAT
EXPLODED JULY 20

1. Five small bombs exploded in Northern Spain on July 20,
four at popular resorts in Cantabria and one in Getxo, a
Bilbao suburb. The sites included a Red Cross life-saving
station, an ATM, seaside promenades and other tourist areas.
According to the press, one woman was slightly injured when
she was hit by a rock sent flying by an explosion near a golf
course and a pregnant woman was treated for shock. A caller
claiming to represent ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna or Basque
Country and Freedom) phoned in advance to warn of the
impending explosions.

2. Traditionally, terrorist organization ETA has not
hesitated to carry out attacks during the busy summer holiday
season. These attacks do not indicate an up-tick in
activity, but rather more of the same type of low intensity
attacks that characterize ETA's terrorist campaign over the
long term. Other underlying factoQ include ETA's frustration
that negotiations with the Zapatero government are not moving
forward. ETA also seeks to put pressure on the Basque
Nationalist Party (PNV) since they don't want to see Basque
Lehkendari Ibarretxe or other political leaders get credit
for pushing a referendum leading to more power for the
autonomous community. Usually, ETA seeks to avoid civilian
casualties and calls in advance to give warning of attacks
against civilian targets, as was the case in the July 20
attacks. ETA last claimed responsibility for a May 14 bomb
that exploded without warning at a Civil Guard barracks in
Legutiano that killed one police officer and injured four
others.

3. President Zapatero has ruled out further peace talks and
says that the terrorists only option is a unilateral
surrender. Interior Minister Rubalcaba said, in warning,
"joining ETA is the surest path to a long jail sentence."
Aguirre

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