Majorca Bombing: Spain in Chaos, 6 Suspects Photos Published
*UPDATE (July 31, 2009) -
6 suspects in their 20s who belong to ETA are thought to be involved in the bombings this week. The police expressed concerns about the possibility of 2 more car bombs.
A countrywide hunt was launched as police published photographs of six named suspects, four men and two women in their early to mid-20s, thought to belong to Eta cells that planted bombs in Spain this week.
Two of the suspects were reportedly spotted on the holiday island of Mallorca shortly before a bomb killed two policemen in the busy resort town of Calvia yesterday.
The public is outraged by the recent attack. Prime minister Zapatero gave a televised address after the terrorist strikes:
"I want to condemn this new, low blow with much rage and pain, but also with much determination," he said in a televised address.
"The criminal attack comes at a time when the civil guards and national police, with the co-operation of French security forces, are striking against the terrorist group as never before," the prime minister said.
(July 30, 2009) After the bombing that killed 2 police officers in Palmanova, the authority closed all airports and ports on the island of Majorca. The airport closure caused chaos, with flights to and from the popular tourist destination been delayed.
Tour operator Thomson said two of four flights en route to the Spanish island had turned back to Gatwick Airport.
An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Britons are currently in Majorca, where it is understood Palma airport has re-opened.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office revised its advice for travelers to Spain to "high threat from terrorism". FCO warned that the Basque Separatist Group might target tourists deliberately. This would further impact tourism in Spain, which already suffered a 20% decrease this year.
Spain has long been the most popular overseas destination for British tourists but the spate of Eta attacks – and the pound's fall against the euro – threatens to keep holidaymakers away.
British people make 17 million visits to the Mediterranean country each year but bookings for early 2009 were down 20 per cent.
The latest attack is believed to be orchestrated by the Basque separatist group ETA. On Wednesday, a powerful car bomb exploded outside police barracks in Burgos, Spain. Fortunately, no one was killed in that bombing. Mr. Santos, a professor of security issues who had worked with Basque police for decades, said the attacks were intended to demonstrate that the ETA is still capable of destruction, after the arrest of several ETA leaders. He said that the attacks were intended to send a message to the world and within ETA's own ranks.
“There have been many media reports saying that ETA is doing badly,” he said by telephone. “There are divisions withing ETA and the nationalist left. Whenever that kind of debate occurs, ETA raises the level of violence.”