Considerable damage

A car bomb blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA exploded in central Madrid early yesterday, injuring 14 people just one day before bitterly contested elections in Spain's northern Basque region. An anonymous caller in the name of ETA warned authorities eight minutes before the blast, Interior Minister Mariano Rajoy said. The bomb went off in one of the Spanish capital's busiest roads, Goya Street. “It could have been a massacre,” Rajoy told reporters at the scene. Local media reported the car contained around 30 kg (66 lbs) of explosive. A bank security guard was the only one seriously hurt, though his wounds were not life-threatening, and all other injuries were minor, emergency services officials said. The explosion demolished the facade of a nearby bank, shattered windows throughout the area and left the twisted remains of the car littering the street. “The buildings shook, I thought they were going to fall down,” said a man who was nearby at the time of the explosion. The bomb went off virtually on the stroke of midnight as campaigning for the Basque parliamentary ballot officially ended and a “Day of Reflection” -free of electioneering and opinion polls - was getting under way.


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