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Bomb Blast at U.S. Consulate Injures 8 in Spain

October 15, 1987|United Press International

BARCELONA, Spain — A bomb hidden on the stairs of an office building by Catalonian separatists blew out the doors of the American Consulate in Barcelona on Wednesday, injuring eight people, officials and news reports said.

Police in Barcelona and Madrid first speculated that the bomb was set by an Arab terrorist group, but a caller to the regional Diario de Barcelona claimed responsibility for the blast on behalf of the separatist group Terra Lliure.

The caller told the newspaper that the bombing is part of a campaign by the group, whose name means Free Land in the Catalan language, to gain independence for the four northern provinces of Catalonia. The group has staged a string of bomb attacks in Barcelona, the region's capital, since it surfaced in 1980.

The bomb was hidden on the stairs outside the U.S. Consulate offices on the third floor of the office building in downtown Barcelona, 400 miles northeast of Madrid, police and city hall spokesmen said.

Eight people, including two women employees of the consulate, were injured by the blast and were rushed to two hospitals, but their condition was not listed as serious, a City Hall spokeswoman said.

The bomb also destroyed the consulate's entrance doors, shattered several windows and damaged the wall near the stairs where it was planted.

Police immediately cordoned off tree-lined Layetana Boulevard and evacuated the building after the blast, which occurred shortly after 1 p.m.

Rubble from the explosion blocked the stairs, and firemen had to use ladders to evacuate several people trapped on the upper floors of the nine-story building because electricity for the elevators was knocked out by the blast.

A spokesman at the American Embassy in Madrid said the consulate had received no warning that a bomb had been set.

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