Terror Campaign in Mallorca

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The Basque Separatist organization ETA yesterday admitted responsibility for the Palmanova car bomb attack, eleven days ago. Also yesterday, ETA warned of three impending bombs to go off sometime between 12h00 and 18h00 yesterday in Palma de Mallorca. The warnings were apparently made in phone calls originating in France.

Three small bombs went off indeed yesterday afternoon. The first one was placed in an Italian restaurant in Portitxol, a suburban area of Palma de Mallorca and not far from where this photo was taken last year. The restaurant was busy with lunchtime servings at the time of the attack but luckily, the explosion in a ladies’ toilet was caused by a small artefact and caused no bodily harm. An hour or so later a second small device exploded in another restaurant, also in Portitxol, but by then restaurants in that area had already been cleared of customers by Palma’s security forces.

A third device exploded in Palma’s centre in Plaça Mayor shortly after 18h00 within the underground shopping arcades. These facilities were closed, however, as is usual for a Sunday afternoon.

No casualties were reported in any of yesterday’s ETA bombings. Thank heaven. The explosions bring the total of terrorist attacks in Mallorca to five bombs within 11 days.

The Balearic government has set up a free information phone line for residents and tourists. The telephone number (900.900.365) is serviced from Mondays to Saturdays between 10h00 and 18h00. I do not understand why no free information is available after hours nor on Sundays. The helpline is available in Catalan, Castellano, English and German.

The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken in Portitxol, on the outskirts of Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The date: June 25th, 2008. The time was 12:09:16.

Terror Campaign in Mallorca

Seeing The Sights

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Only nine days have passed since the Palmanova bombing. Everything seems back to normal. Whilst there was police presence everywhere on Mallorca’s roads in the immediate aftermath of the horrific attack, I am surprised as to how little policing one experiences ever since, here.

There are some uniformed guards visible in Passeig Marítim and near Porto Pí, as well as near Palacio Marivent, but that is normal for this time of year, when the Spanish royals are present for their Summer holidays in Mallorca. Nothing unusual there.

Everything else is as if nothing had happened. The beaches are full, or so it seems. Palma is busy with an astonishing amount of sightseers, tourists, shoppers, people in general. Life is going on as usual.

Pethaps nothing has happened really. Perhaps it all was just a bad dream.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: April 1st, 2009. The time was 11:37:08.

Seeing The Sights

Mallorca In Mourning

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Mallorca is in mourning after Thursday’s car bomb attack in Palmanova resulting in the death of two young Guardia Civil agents. Three days of mourning were declared last Thursday for the island of Mallorca after the onslaught. Five minutes of silence were observed yesterday in Palma, throughout Mallorca, and all over Spain in homage to the murdered victims.

The Basque separatist group ETA is blamed by the Spanish government and other officials for the Mallorca bombing as well as another terror attack in Burgos earlier this week, but ETA has not claimed responsibility for either of these attacks as they usually would.

Whilst Mallorca and the whole of Spain are on high alert with concern for further terrorist attacks, a funeral ceremony was held yesterday in Palma’s La Seu cathedral. King Juan Carlos I and Reina Sofía were not present (they are on an official visit to the island of Madeira), but the Príncipes de Asturias (crown prince Felipe and his wife Letizia) were in attendance, as were the Duques de Palma de Mallorca (Infanta Cristina and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarín), and Infanta Elena. Also present were the Presidente del Gobierno, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the opposition leader, Mariano Rajoy, the President del Govern Balear, Francesc Antich, and the Presidenta del Consell de Mallorca, Francina Armengol.

Zapatero posthumously awarded the two victims with the Cruz de Oro al Mérito de la Guardia Civil, whilst Antich bestowed Medallas de Oro de Baleares upon the dead Guardia Civil agents, the highest honour known in contemporary Mallorca.

Yesterday afternoon thousands of citizens assembled at the scene of the bomb explosion in Palmanova to protest against the terror attacks; some protesters even called for the death penalty to be reintroduced in Spain.

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The photos were borrowed from the Internet. Thanks are due to the online editions of dbalears and elmundo/Alberto Vera. Muchas gracias.

Mallorca In Mourning

Not A Pretty Sight

dany_cardona_reuters

A car bomb exploded yesterday at 13h40 in Palmanova (Calvià), Mallorca, claiming two fatalities and shattering the tourists’ holiday dreams. Two Guardia Civil officers on duty were killed in the monstruous attack, 27 year old Diego Salvá Lezaun, and Carlos Enrique Sáenz de Tejada García, age 28. A second car bomb was later found nearby but was detonated safely.

It is widely assumed that the Basque ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna = Basque Homeland and Freedom) organisation may be behind yesterday’s killings. The bombing in Palmanova was the second attack in Spain linked to ETA in less than 36 hours. Wednesday night, a car bomb exploded near Burgos in mainland Spain causing injuries to 65 victims. No lives were lost in Burgos, luckily.

Today, July 31st, marks the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Basque separatist group ETA. The Basque conflict started during the Franco years as a consequence of severe repression by the fascist regime such as the attacks on Durango and Gernika. The Basque homeland extends from the Northeast of Spain to the Southwest of France. The severity of the armed conflict in Spain can perhaps be compared with the troubles in Northern Ireland and the IRA.

The attack was the fifth ETA assault carried out in Mallorca since 1977, if indeed ETA was behind this latest attack. ETA normally has a habit of issuing warnings before any massive attacks but no such warning was received before yesterday’s bombing. Thankfully, the previous ETA terror strikes in Mallorca had not resulted in any loss of life. One of the previous ETA assaults in Mallorca had been an attempt to assassinate King Juan Carlos I. The Spanish royal family usually spends their summer vacations in Mallorca. The royals are expected on the island any day now.

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The photos were borrowed from the Internet. Thanks are due to Dany Cardona/Reuters as well as to AFP. Muchas gracias.

Not A Pretty Sight