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Suspicious package detonated at Spain airport

Spanish police acting on a telephoned bomb threat evacuated Ibiza airport in the Balearic islands on Saturday, and later used a controlled explosion to detonate a suspicious package, airport officials and press reports said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Spanish police acting on a telephoned bomb threat evacuated Ibiza airport in the Balearic islands on Saturday, and later used a controlled explosion to detonate a suspicious package, airport officials and press reports said.

The discovery came just a day after two Mercedes loaded with gasoline, gas canisters and nails were found abandoned in London in what police believe was an attempt to kill scores or even hundreds of people.

Spanish authorities did not immediately say who they believed was behind the incident, reports on the Web sites of dailies El Pais, El Mundo and La Vanguardia’s said three warnings had been received by the Basque newspaper Gara, which the violent Basque separatist group ETA often uses as a conduit for bomb warnings.

A spokeswoman for the AENA airport authority, which controls Spain’s airports, said the airport had shut down.

ETA calls off 15-month cease-fire
The bomb threat was made just weeks after ETA called off a 15-month cease-fire, blaming the government for refusing to make concessions in the peace process and warning it was once again becoming active “on all fronts.”

Fears have been growing that renewed ETA violence was imminent, particularly after Civil Guards found a car near the southern Spanish town of Ayamonte, near the border with Portugal. It contained more than 220 pounds of explosive material, detonators, timers and a bomb-making manual in the Basque language.

ETA has attacked airports before, most recently in a December 2006 car bombing that killed two people at Madrid’s Barajas airport.

ETA, whose name stands for Basque Homeland and Freedom, has killed more than 800 people since 1968 in its campaign for a separate Basque state. It is classified as a terrorist group by the United States and the European.