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Do Not Panic After Costa Bombs

Brit tourists told not to panic

Julia Reid,  Aug 18, 2008

British tourists travelling to Spain are being advised to go ahead with their holiday plans despite bombs on the Costa del Sol.

Jon Clarke, who edits an expat newspaper, the Olive Press, said that the terrorists do not intend to hurt tourists.

"It is just sabre rattling. People should come and enjoy themselves here. The chances of being hurt are less than they are back in London and the Sun in shining." he said.

The Basque separatist group ETA claimed responsibility for the explosions near the popular resorts of Torremolinos and Benalmadena.

Thousands of Brits were evacuated from the beach in front of the Tryp Guadalmar Hotel before the first blast at around 1pm local time.

The second exploded at Benalmadena port a couple of hours later.

Traffic around Malaga airport was disrupted for several hours and flights to the UK were delayed as police looked for a further device on the main road back to the city.

The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular parts of Europe for sun-seeking British expats and welcomes up to a million British tourists at any one time.

But Mr Clarke, who moved to Spain five years ago, is not concerned that the explosions will affect the local economy.

"This has happened before. It is a blink in the eye. I don't think anyone here will be too concerned unless there is real carnage.

"Everyone just shrugs their shoulders and carries on as normal." he said.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said it was still safe to travel to Spain and the level of risk had not changed.

But visitors are advised to be vigilant and expect disruptions from real or hoax terror attempts.

The FCO website says: "There is a high threat from terrorism in Spain. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers."

Fears of a renewed campaign by ETA had been raised by a small bomb close to the strip of bars and restaurants in Torremolinos last month.

One woman was treated for shock after the explosion which caused little damage in the area.

Two weeks earlier local authorities had blamed four small explosions at holiday resorts in northern Spain on ETA.

Brit tourists told not to panic
Bombs were found at Benalmadena and Torremolinos /

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