The Basque newspaper Gara, which has close links to the guerrillas, published a statement from ETA saying it had detonated the two car bombs which killed three people. A car bomb in Madrid in January killed an army officer and another last month in the northern city of Vitoria claimed the lives of a regional Socialist politician and his bodyguard. ETA claimed responsibility for both attacks and said it was also behind two vans loaded with explosives which were intercepted by civil guards as they headed for Madrid just before Christmas. ETA usually waits weeks before claiming responsibility for its attacks. The group has been universally blamed for another car bomb attack in the Basque city of San Sebastian on Monday night in which two police officers and five civilians were injured. The attacks ended more than a year's truce, during which there were fleeting contacts between the government and the radicals. Gara quoted ETA as saying the politician it killed, Fernando Buesa, had opposed negotiations to end the Basque conflict. As in December, when it announced it was resuming its armed campaign, ETA blamed the Spanish and French governments and moderate Basque nationalists for the end of the truce. “(Moderate nationalist parties) PNV and EA have let the peace process rot and acted in a partisan way,” the report quoted the ETA statement as saying.

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