ETA blamed in explosion outside court house

Two small devices exploded early Thursday outside a courthouse and a post office in towns in the Basque region in northern Spain. No group claimed responsibility for the explosions but the Basque regional government blamed ETA.

The armed group regularly targets political party offices and businesses with similar devices as part of its nearly 40-year-old campaign for an independent Basque state. The first blast damaged the front of a post office and an adjacent house in the small town of Murguia. It exploded just after midnight.

The second device went off at 7:15 a.m. (0615 GMT) outside a court building in the town of Balmaseda, also causing material damages in the doorway and to a shop next door. The court bomb had been placed in a bag with a note on it that read: "Danger Bomb," a police spokesman said.

Basque government spokeswoman Miren Azkarate told Spanish National Radio the explosions "were out of line with the path to peace." She called on ETA "in the name of the Basque people, to end the violence and let people live in peace."

ETA, whose name is a Basque-language acronym for Basque Homeland and Freedom, is blamed for more than 800 deaths since the late 1960s. Its last fatal attack was in May 2003 with a car bombing that killed two policemen. It has carried out dozens of relatively low-scale attacks since then. The Spanish government has offered to hold talks with the group if it renounces violence, reports the AP. N.U.

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