Two police officers die after ETA attack in northern Spain

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THE Basque terror group ETA resumed its bloody campaign for an independent homeland yesterday with a car bombing that killed two police officers and critically wounded another in northern Spain.

The bomb went off under a police car outside an administrative building in Sanguesa, Navarre province.

Doctors were forced to amputate the legs of the injured officer. A passing civilian was also hurt.

"ETA has murdered once again," the deputy prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, said. He vowed to use "all means at our disposal" to fight the group and the politicians linked to it.

Jose Maria Aznar, the prime minister, called off a trip to St Petersburg for a Russian-European Union summit.

ETA often uses car bombs in its campaign. Its attacks have killed more than 800 people since the late 1960s.

The police attacked yesterday had entered a local government building in Sanguesa to do administrative tasks. When they came out and got into their Citron car, a bomb under it detonated, officials said.

It was not clear if the device was attached to the car or placed under it while the police officers were in the building. The explosion came five days after Basque local elections in which hundreds of pro- independence candidates allegedly linked to ETA’s outlawed political wing were barred from running.

No immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing was made. ETA usually takes weeks to claim responsibility for attacks.

Navarre borders the troubled Basque region and is home to many Basque nationalists. Sanguesa is 20 miles south-east of Pamplona.

The last attack blamed on ETA was the 8 February shooting of a police chief in the Basque town of Andoiain.

The halt in violence had led to speculation ETA might be observing a truce as in 1998. But two weeks ago hooded men calling themselves ETA members said in a video on Basque TV the fight would go on.

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