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Car bomb in Spain injures at least 17

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Madrid, Nov 1, IRNA
Spain-Terrorism

A car bomb injured 17 people Thursday at a university in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona after police searched the wrong campus for explosives following a telephone call purportedly from the Basque separatist group ETA warning of an imminent attack, Spain's Interior Ministry said.

The government blamed ETA for the incident.

The bomb exploded in a parking lot at the University of Navarra at 11 a.m., according to the Interior Ministry in Madrid. Few students were in the area where the bomb exploded because of rain.

"We could have had an enormous tragedy at the University of Navarra," Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba told a news conference in Madrid.

"The bomb simply went off when nobody was around."
Police received a warning call in the name of ETA an hour before the explosion, Rubalcaba said, but the caller did not specify which university would be attacked.

Police first searched the campus in nearby Vitoria, which meant that officials were not able to evacuate the Pamplona university in time - the usual police procedure following ETA warning calls. The Pamplona campus was evacuated following the explosion.

The bomb may have contained up to 220 pounds of explosives, according to Spanish press reports.

Most of the injuries were caused by flying glass.

IRNA reporter in Madrid said that the attack was the sixth since 1979 on the university, which is located in the northern region of Navarra, one of several Basque-speaking provinces which ETA would like to turn into an independent state.

Officials speculate that the attack was a response to the recent arrest of three suspected ETA leaders in Pamplona and another in Valencia.

ETA ended its most recent truce in December 2006 when talks with the Spanish government broke down.

ETA has killed more than 800 people in its nearly four-decade fight for an independent Basque state in parts of southern France and northern Spain.



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