News August 2003

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Dutch victim of ETA bomb leaves hospital

12 August. PTL! The Dutch student injured in the ETA bomb which was set off on 22nd July has left hospital. There are no more victims in hospital. The operation which he had to undergo to remove schrapnell from his skull took five hours.

Meanwhile, a major pro-ETA demonstration took place last weekend in San Sebastian. The organisers are likely to be arrested for 'justification of terrorism'. It was originaly permitted as a pro-home rule demonstration as it was called not by recognised politicians but by individuals. The political situation remains tense.

Reminder of the facts

29/22 July, 14.30 Two bombs went off in beach-side hotels in Benidorm and Alicante, wounding 4 policemen and 9 others. Fortunately, warnings, while not giving the correct time for the explosions, allowed sufficient time to get tourists clear of the danger areas. The warning, given at 11.00, was for explosions at 12.30, but the Alicante bomb exploded at 12.05 and the Benidorm one at 12.10.

13 Wounded

The 5 wounded in Benidorm were policemen and one other, while in Alicante, 7 were students and one was a Spanish teacher at the neighbouring Sampere Institute, a language school for foreigners. Of these eight, two have serious injuries. One is Dutch, the other German. Russian, Swedish and British citizens were also affected. Only the two seriously affected remain in hospital. Your prayers are appreciated.

The terrorists have been identified and it is hoped this will help to protect other possible tourist targets in the coming days and months. You can see the faces on the 'wanted' list (top two):

Hide and other plans

1 August. The police discovered the hide used by the Benidorm bombers. The flat, in central Valencia, also contained enough explosive (2.8kg) and equipment for several attacks.
8 August. It was discovered that the ETA members who set off bombs, also made reservations in hotels in the province of Malaga.

Political situation

The political situation remains tense, with the Basque and Spanish governments at loggerheads over a long-term political solution to the aspirations of the Basques. The Basque ruling PNV (Basque Nationalist Party) is working on proposals for a far greater degree of autonomy for the region, hoping it can become a 'free associated state'. The Spanish national 'constitutionalist' parties, governing conservative Partido Popular and socialist opposition PSOE are not totally in agreement on an answer, either. More about this sitation: