A car bomb exploded outside a Guardia Civil barracks in Calahorra in the Rioja wine region last Friday, slightly injuring one Guardia and causing huge material damage in the immediate area. The authorities received a warning from a man claiming to represent the Basque terrorist group ETA half an hour after the bomb went off at 2 pm, and police were able to clear the area in time. A blue Honda, stolen at gunpoint hours earlier from a couple who were later found trussed up and abandoned in a rural area, was used in the attack. According to police sources, the car contained 70 kilos of explosives. They said at least four people had participated in the bombing. Five-minute silent protests to condemn the attack were held in towns throughout the area. The Rioja regional government has already received more than 500 applications for indemnities for the damage caused by the blast, and dozens of families are staying with relatives or in hotels until their homes are declared safe to return to. Just two weeks ago, an ETA hitman executed a former Solcialist town councillor in the Basque region, two days before the Spanish general election. The group has killed more than 850 people in its forty-year-long campaign for independence for the Basque regions in northern Spain and south-west France. Many of those killed have been members of the Guardia Civil and both local and national politicians opposed to ETA’s separatist demands.


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