ETA planned bomb attack in Madrid

Explosives discovered in 2 ETA hideouts

According to the Spanish Home Office, 125 kilos of explosive material hidden in a secret ETA hideout in the province of Huesca were found by the Civil Guard on Monday following the arrest of two suspected members of ETA at the weekend. Yesterday another hideout was discovered in Navarra and police recovered more explosives. According to police heading the investigation, ETA was planning to plant a bomb in Madrid’s financial center before the elections due to be held in March.

The first hideout contained explosives together with a dozen detonators and timers and was located in Sabiñánigo. Its location was discovered thanks to some documents obtained during the arrest of the two presumed members of ETA in Arrasate in Guipúzcoa last Sunday.

During the arrests both suspects, Igor Portu and Martín Sarasola, sustained injuries and Portu was admitted to the Intensive Care unit in San Sebastian hospital. The Basque nationalist party has questioned the length of time which passed between the men’s arrest and their admission to hospital.

The Home Office said that the injuries to both men were due to the force used by the Civil Guard as both resisted the arrest. Last month two Civil Guards were shot by two ETA suspects when they prepared to arrest them in France. Both died as a result of their injuries. According to Rubalcaba the Minister for the Home Office, Portu and Sarasola not only resisted arrest, but were also carrying hand guns. He emphasised that the Civil Guard acted within the law at all times. An investigation has however been opened to examine the incident.

According to reports in the Spanish media today, both suspects have admitted their involvement in the terrorist attack in Barajas Airport last year which signalled the end of the “permanent ceasefire” announced by ETA in 2006.