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Car Bomb Wounds 2 in Spain

January 13, 2002|Associated Press

BILBAO, Spain — A car bomb exploded on a downtown street in this Basque port city Saturday, wounding two people who were hit by flying shards of glass, police said.

Authorities said a caller claimed that the Basque separatist group ETA was responsible.

The midafternoon blast shattered windows in several buildings. Police had evacuated the area after a caller phoned a warning to a newspaper and claimed that the ETA had planted a bomb, but they were unable to find it before it exploded.

Television footage showed police frantically waving people away from the area of banks and shops minutes before a car exploded in flames. The security chief for the region, Basque Interior Minister Javier Balza, said the car had been stolen Saturday morning and was loaded with up to 44 pounds of dynamite.

The ETA, an acronym for Basque Homeland and Freedom, has been blamed for the deaths of about 800 people since 1968 in its campaign for Basque independence.

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