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Five december explosions near madrid after eta warning

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Five Spanish Cities Hit by Blasts Following Warning From ETA
Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Five devices exploded in Spanish cities, the Interior Ministry said, after anonymous callers, speaking in the name of Basque terrorist group ETA, told the Gara newspaper that seven bombs had been planted around Spain.

The blasts occurred today in Leon and Santillana del Mar in northern Spain, the central cities of Avila and Ciudad Real, and the southern city of Malaga, said a ministry spokeswoman in a telephone interview. No injuries had been reported in four of the towns, while no information was available for Ciudad Real, said the spokeswoman, who requested anonymity.

The five cities were included in two warnings phoned to Gara by the callers, the paper said on its Web site. The other two places mentioned by the callers are Valladolid, in central Spain, and Alicante in the southeast. Before the explosions were reported, the Interior Ministry said the areas were being evacuated.

Five small bombs exploded on Nov. 3 at gas stations in and around Madrid after a similar ETA warning to Gara. Nobody was killed or seriously hurt in those blasts because the stations had been evacuated. Spain today celebrates the anniversary of its 1978 constitution, and last week's bombs disrupted traffic as residents left Madrid for an extended weekend break.

ETA, whose initials stand for Euskadi ta Askatasuna, or Basque Homeland and Freedom, has killed more than 800 people since the late 1960s when it began campaigning for an independent homeland in Basque-speaking areas of northern Spain and southwestern France.

Last Updated: December 6, 2004 08:19 EST

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