Francisco Cano had died of wounds suffered in a bombing blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA.

A plumber who worked as a part-time local politician for Spain's ruling party was killed on his way to a repair job on Thursday in a bombing blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA. It was the first sign of ETA retaliation against an anti-terrorism pact signed by Spain's two biggest political parties just two days earlier. Francisco Cano Consuegra, 45, who ran a plumbing business and served as a Popular Party town councillor in the town of Viladecabais, was killed in northeastern Spain by a bomb attached to the underside of his van. The vehicle was literally blown to bits. “For ETA sometimes the targets are well-known people and other times they are people as simple and exemplary as Francisco Cano,” said Interior Minister Jaime Mayor Oreja. ETA's previous victim, Ernest Lluch, was a former health minister for the Socialist government in the 1980s. Lluch's death rocked Spain's political establishment and drew hundreds of thousands of people to protest in the streets of Barcelona, where he was killed. Cano, 45, who was married with two teenage daughters, had been the only Popular Party member in Viladecabais, a town of 4'500 people, near Barcelona. The bombing took place in the neighbouring town of Terrassa. After initial uncertainty about whether Cano had survived the blast, Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar confirmed at a news conference that Cano had died of his wounds at a local hospital. Aznar and other politicians immediately pinned the attack on ETA, which has now been linked to 22 assassinations this year, its highest toll since 1992, when it killed 26 people.


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