ETA bomb in Madrid

Basque terrorist group Eta exploded a bomb in Madrid at 9.30 Spanish time this morning. Forty people were treated by medical staff, most of them with light injuries. Three people are still being treated in hospital. The bomb contained between 18 to 20 kilos of explosives according to the Spanish Interior Minister, Jose Antonio Alonso.

Since Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero sought the approval of the Spanish Congress to begin talks with ETA last week, three key Basque terrorist suspects have been arrested in France, and two members of the political wing of Eta have been summoned by Spanish courts.

Yesterday, referring to the latest operations against the terrorist group, the leader of Batasuna, the illegal political wing of ETA, said rather sinisterly that the Spanish government “was not going in the right direction” and seemed “not to understand the word ‘tregua’ ” (Spanish for “truce”).

The Basque newspaper Gara received a telephone call this morning informing of the existence, location and timing of the bomb which had been left in a rucksack inside a van.

When condemning this latest attack before the Spanish press later this morning, Zapatero underlined the commitment of his government to “fight and end terrorism” and said that the only option open to Eta terrorists was to abandon their weapons and dissolve the group.