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Spain: Bombs Rip Through Train Stations At Rush Hour

 
 
Sugar
 
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 11:31 am
I was surprised I hadn't seen a thread on this yet - maybe I missed it? Is there anyone from Spain on A2K? What are the news updates in Europe at the moment? I realize that there has been a problem with the Basques for a while, but they are expecting the ETA to take 'credit' for the bombings.

http://www.boston.com/dailynews/071/world/Bombs_kill_more_than_180_in_Sp:.shtml

This is horrific and my heart goes out to those people and their families.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 11,497 • Replies: 131
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fealola
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 11:34 am
Oh, my God! 10 Bombs!
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Thok
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 11:41 am
Not 10 bombs,10 blasts:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3502218.stm
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Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 11:41 am
I have a sister who is in Paris (which is NOT Spain I know) but I'm not to cool about the whole situation at the moment.
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fealola
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 11:47 am
I know what you mean.
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Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 11:51 am
Heartbreaking horror, I don't understand why the basque seperatists are so enamored with blood.
Mind you, I could say the same about all these terrorist organizations.
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Thok
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 11:54 am
Maybe it was Al-Quaida. We don't know. .
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Sugar
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 11:59 am
The Spanish and French has been dealing with Basque seperatist groups for years. They arrested 2 last month with a truck full of explosives headed for Madrid and there were reports that the authorities foiled a plan in December to blow up a train station. Spain's internal issues with terrorists groups is one of the primary reasons that the US has had their continued support in the war.

The Boy just called - we are supposed to be going to Spain in a few months for our honeymoon, starting and ending in Madrid - asking if I still wanted to go. We're still going.
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Sugar
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 12:04 pm
Here's another page from the BBC - reactions:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/3500774.stm
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 12:33 pm
It's not j"a problem" with the basques - it's a problem with the basque terrorists.

And this is going on for more than 30 now.
-----------
I've been in a hotel in Spain, when the terrorsts blasted of the entrance of the next-by hotel (after a warning).
My wife and I had been in a terrorist search in Spain, when we wanted to undertake a day trip from France. Therefor, we returned, just to bet stopped by the French terrorist search. (Ever seen the Guardia National or the French anti terror police/border police in action? [grrr])
------------

In a similar attack on Christmas Eve, ETA placied bombs on two trains bound for a Madrid station that was not hit today. On February 29, police interceptioned a Madrid-bound van packed with more than 1,100 pounds of explosives, blamed to ETA.

The death toll is more than 190 at the moment - 12 hours ago, when it was first in the news here, people spoke about five or more dead Sad
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fealola
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 12:36 pm
And around a thousand injured. Stunning.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 12:47 pm
Walter put things correctly.

This is not "the Basques".
This is not "a separatist organization".

ETA is a terrorist criminal group, supported by only a minority of the Basque population.

National elections in Spain are due very soon. So this is also an attempt to frighten people not to vote.

But Spaniards have something admirable. Every time there is an ETA bomb, they flood to the streets and silently, bravely defy the terrorists, and prove they are bound to lose.

Sugar, your reaction is mature. If you were to cancel or postpone your trip to Spain, then you would have actually yielded to the terrorists, and helped them achieve one of their goals, which is less tourism to Spain.
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hobitbob
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 12:53 pm
How long before this act is "rewritten" by the far right as an example of "Islamic Terrorism?"
On another thread it is already being referred to as such an example.
And when 190 Spanish workers and students are slaughtered in Madrid and 1000+ injured, it seems Islamists are responsible.

It seems we, as human beings, are moving even further away form understanding, instead returning to our (apparently) naturally polarized, suspicious, belligerent state. Sad
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Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 12:55 pm
I went through the comments section of the BBC site Sugar posted and what struck me was the number of people who commented that something of this magnitude is unique for ETA. This was large,well thought out, and coordinated. It makes me wonder...
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 12:58 pm
The elections are the coming weekend - the Spanish government suspended any election campaign a couple of hours ago.

'Less tourism' has been the top aim of ETA since the 90's - thus trying to hurt the Spanish economy.


Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) was founded in 1959 by a group of student activists dissatisfied with the moderate nationalism of the traditional Basque party (parties).

ETA's first activities involved planting explosives in the cities of Bilbao, Vitoria and Santander in 1959. Its first military action was in 1961--an unsuccessful attempt to derail a train carrying civil war veterans travelling to Donostia to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War. The police responded with road controls, arrests, house searches and the widespread use of torture. As a result many Basques went into exile abroad, while others joined ETA's struggle.

While ETA is operationally headquartered in the Basque provinces of Spain and France, the organization is reported to have members and underground supporters in locations as diverse as Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Cape Verde, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Germany, Holland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Sao Tome and Principe, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
ETA activities have been coordinated for a long time from France; some of the organization's leaders are suspected of directing the group's activities from Latin America.

ETA operates primarily in the Basque autonomous regions of the northern Spain and southwestern France, but also has bombed Spanish and French interests elsewhere. Since the ETA began their terrorist campaign, they have been blamed for more than 1,300 deaths. While the group has not directly targeted U.S. interests, it has provided support to many Latin American terrorist organizations.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 01:11 pm
Acquink, ETA has a long history of "large, well thought of and coordinated" terrorist attacks, along with the routine kidnappings, "revolutionary bonus" extortions and personal killings of political enemies.

I, of course, can't rule out the possibility of other terrorists doing this massacre. But I'm 99% sure it's ETA. The choice of timing and victims seems to be totally determined by internal politics.

Walter's comments about Latin America are interesting.
Mexico has cooperated with Spain in the capture and extradition of several ETA terrorists.
Some of the exploding devices for their bombs have been bought in Mexico and "exported" (the devices are tubes used for plumbing).
ETA is now the main funder of EZLN, the rebels in Southern Mexico.

On an aside, CNN, like many US media, calls ETA "Basque separatists". Shouldn't it, then, call Al Quaeda "Islamic activists"?
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 01:13 pm
Fully agreed!
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 01:30 pm
Juan Jose Ibarretxe, the President of the Basque Country (The Basque Country has had its own Government and autonomous Parliament since the arrival of democracy in Spain in the late nineteen seventies) recently said
"Peace and coexistence represent fundamental values in every aspect of our lives. And I know that reaching these objectives is an absolute priority both for you and everyone who lives in this country today. This wish that you and I share, has led me to put forward this proposal for the future, an initiative that aims to demonstrate that all obstacles are surmountable, peacefully and by democratic means. A project that provides all Basque citizens with a viable solution for their future."

EUSKADI - Basque Country, Basque Government, Basque Autonomous Community

Eusko Legebiltzarra Parlamento Vasco (Basque Parliament)
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fealola
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 01:34 pm
Fox News is reporting that a van related to the attack was found with arabic language tapes and Koran verses in. This is just coming in, stay tuned.

(This was TV. No net link yet.)
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 01:39 pm
None of the Spanish news reported such yet.
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