A car bomb ripped through a parking lot at a university in northern Spain on Thursday injuring 17 people in an attack blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA. Staff at the University of Navarra in the city of Pamplona described how the initial blast at around 1000 GMT set off a series of smaller explosions as several other cars erupted in flames. "There were other small explosions after the fire set off the fuel tanks in the parked cars nearby," professor Bernardino Leon told the Antena 3 TV channel. Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba told a press conference that things could have been much worse as nobody had been that close to the bomb when it went off. "A major tragedy could have occurred today at the University of Navarra," he told journalists, adding, "We have had some luck in the misfortune." Rubalcaba said a man claiming to represent ETA had put in a warning call to the regional DYA traffic department -- a common conduit used by the armed Basque separatist group to provide warning of their imminent attacks. The man said a "white Peugeot" was going to explode at a nearby university without specifying which one, according to Rubalcaba. "Either he did not voluntarily give all the details or else he was mistaken," the interior minister said, adding that the bombing could have been intended as a revenge attack. The blast comes two days after the arrest of four suspected ETA members, three of whom were picked up in Navarra. Spain's interior ministry said the group "were ready to carry an attack, probably in Navarra." The car used in Thursday's attack was stolen on Wednesday evening in the town of Zumaya, Rubalcaba said. A second professor at the university, Ramon Salaverria, described the intensity of the blast. "I felt the whole building shake and I thought it was an earthquake. And then I saw a column of smoke about 30 to 40 metres (100 to 130 feet) high," he said, according to the website of the 20 Minutos newspaper. Some 400 people were evacuated from nearby buildings after the explosion, although the rest of the campus continued to function as normal, said the university's director of communication Jesus Diaz.
www.chinaview.cn 2008-10-30 18:52:03
MADRID, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- A car bomb exploded near the University of Navarre in the northern city of Pamplona in Spain on Thursday, the national radio station reported.
it said several cars were on fire after the blast, but didn't mention any casualties.
The bomb, which occurred without any early warnings, smashed windows of a nearby university building and damaged several cars, the report said