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By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
THE central government delegate to the Balearics, Ramon Socias, yesterday underlined that there is no need for concern in the Balearics after two small bomb devices exploded in the holiday resort of Malaga on Sunday morning. Nobody was hurt by the blasts because police acted swiftly after receiving a bomb warning.

The Foreign and Commmonwealth Office yesterday updated its travel advice for Spain in response to the incidents advising all British holidaymakers that “the Spanish authorities are fully aware of the impact of terrorism and are taking measures to protect visitors, but you should be vigilant. “Disruptions from real or hoax terror attempts can be expected. You should follow the instructions of the local police and other authorities.” On Sunday, Police had to clear a packed beach before the first explosion at around 1 p.m. and later had to move what Spanish media said were thousands of people from a marina in the nearby town of Benalmadena before the second blast at 3 p.m. “Two devices exploded, in Benalmadena and on Guadalmar beach in the (provincial) capital. “They were of little power and did not cause injuries or physical damage,” said a spokeswoman for the office of the central government in Malaga.
Newspapers quoted security sources as saying the telephone caller claimed the attacks on behalf of Basque separatist rebels ETA, but the spokeswoman said she did not know of any claim.

Meanwhile, police closed Spain's main coastal motorway while they hunted for a third device somewhere between Malaga and the Costa del Sol resort of Torremolinos, an interior ministry spokesman said.

The incident triggered travel chaos on what is traditionally one of the busiest weekends of the year on Spanish roads.
Last month ETA exploded four small bombs at popular seaside resorts in the north of the country, marking the start of its usual summer bombing campaign to disrupt one of the most important sectors of the Spanish economy.

Yesterday Ramon Socias said that while “we must never let our guard down” the level of security and safety in the Balearics is high and that the National Police, the Guardia Civil and the National Intelligence centre are working round the clock to combat terrorism and prevent any attacks in Spain.

Socias, not wishing to give away too much information, revealed that the exhaustive checks and controls being carried out at the ports of entry and exit in the Balearics, make the region extremely difficult for known terrorists to access and operate in.

He admitted that some of the security checks at the airports may be lengthy and appear to be “over the top” but explained that these security procedures are all part of a huge operation designed to make sure that residents and visitors to the Balearics can enjoy their summer in peace and tranquility.

Socias added that Majorca is the only place in Spain where an attempt has even been mounted to assassinate the current King and, for that reason, while the Spanish royal family are on the island for their summer break, security levels are at a maximum.

The director of the Majorcan Hotel Federation, Alfonso Meaurio, said that there does not appear to be any grounds for concern in the Balearics.
He admitted that, considering the Basque separatists group ETA mounts an annual summer campaign, “fortunately, there is nothing to make us suspect that they will carry out a similar act to that in Malaga here.” This summer, over 400 extra National Police and members of the Guardia Civil, including bomb squad units and dog handlers, have been deployed to the Balearics to boost security levels and also help the existing forces combat serious and organised international crime and drug trafficking.