Eta claims responsility for 21 bomb attacks


Basque separatist group Eta has claimed responsibility for 21 bombings in Spain in the last two months, including attacks on businesses that refused to fund the group and a bomb near a disco, a Basque paper said today.

Eta, which has killed some 850 people since 1968 in its campaign for an independent state in northern Spain and southwest France, said in a statement to the newspaper Garait had attacked five businesses "for refusing to contribute economic aid for the freedom of the Basque Country".

It said it was behind a five-bomb attack on motorways around Madrid on the day Spain celebrated its constitution this month and said it had placed two grenade launchers at Santander airport on the same day. The launchers did not fire.

The group, which is considered a terrorist organisation by Spain, the European Union and the United States, also said it was responsible for the bombings of five law courts and a bomb attack close to a disco.

Eta called the disco owner a "collaborator with the Spanish armed forces", Garasaid.

No one was injured in the attacks, many of which had already been blamed on Eta by authorities.

Since the government said in May it would talk to Eta if it laid down its arms, speculation has grown that a ceasefire could be imminent.

But Eta, which had earlier made repeated calls for talks, said this month in its internal bulletin that it would not call a ceasefire until Spain and France made concessions, Basque paper El Correoreported.