Spanish resort hotel damaged in bomb blast


A bomb exploded in a Mediterranean resort hotel in southeast Spain today after a telephone warning from the Basque separatist group ETA.

One person was injured in the attack.

The bomb was in a backpack and detonated in a courtyard of the Hotel Port Denia, beach town in Alicante which is popular with tourists. The warning call was placed to police in the Basque region.

The hotel immediately evacuated about 160 people before the bomb exploded about 30 minutes later. A male guest suffered slight ear injuries from the blast.

Interior Minister Mr Jose Antonio Alonso condemned the attack and vowed that Spain's security forces "will continue to use all the means at their disposal, with current law as the only limit, until ETA disappears completely".

ETA is blamed for more than 800 deaths since the late 1960s in a campaign of bombings and shootings aimed at achieving an independent Basque homeland in land straddling northern Spain and southwest France.

The hotel bombing occurred two days before Spain's Parliament was scheduled to debate - and almost certainly reject - a proposal making the Basque region virtually independent.