Basque separatists shot dead a policeman in central Barcelona yesterday, officials said, the 23rd killing this year blamed on ETA guerrillas. Juan Miguel Gervilla, a 38-year-old municipal police officer, had approached two people pushing a car along one of Barcelona's main streets when they opened fire on him and then fled the scene, officials said. Police cordoned off the area and safely detonated about 13 kg (29 pounds) of explosives found in the trunk of the car, suggesting they were planning a bombing elsewhere in Barcelona. The attack drew immediate and widespread condemnation from political leaders, and anti-ETA groups on Wednesday began planning a round of demonstrations nationwide, the sombre routine of angry protest that follows each ETA-linked attack. “I want to insist in our firm resolve to defeat the terrorist strategy, using all the legal means at our disposal.”

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