ETA terrorists targeted holidaymakers in Majorca on Sunday where they planted three bombs in their second attack on the Spanish island in a fortnight.
The first two devices exploded in the women’s lavatories of two separate restaurants. A third went off in the basement lavatory of a supermarket in the main square in Palma, the capital, shortly after the Basque separatist group made a telephone warning. No one was injured, but the attack caused travel chaos and tourists deserted the beaches of the holiday island for the second time this summer.
The blasts were described by police as “weak” but they suggested that Eta had maintained a presence on the island since two civil guards were killed by a car bomb beneath their patrol car in the resort of Palmanova.
“It looks like we have an Eta commando in Majorca,” said Bartomeu Barcelo, the public prosecutor in the Balearic Islands.
He said the telephone warning was vague and that two bombs exploded before the police and civil guards were close to finding them.
Police set up road blocks and cordoned off beaches and evacuated several restaurants and bars. The airport and ferry terminals remained open.
“After the last time we were all shocked but life got back to normal,” said Caroline, a waitress at a bar popular with British visitors.
She said she was too afraid to give her full name. “Now it’s scary that they’re still here. We’re checking our loos.
“A lot of the customers still don’t know what happened today because they haven’t heard. But others are checking the Spanish newspapers on the internet.”
Almost 400,000 Britons visit Majorca in August.
The first bomb exploded in La Rigoletta pizzeria at 2.20pm in the women’s lavatory. “We heard a really loud firecracker and the wall of our kitchen, which adjoins that of La Rigoletta, trembled a lot,” said Ricardo, the chef of the neighbouring Tapelía restaurant on the sea front.
“Then really dense and toxic smoke started to come out and we all went outside.”
A second device exploded in the women’s lavatory of the Enco tapas bar, 500 yards from La Rigoletta.
As guests were evacuated and a search for another bomb took place at the Hotel Palacio Avenidas in the centre of Palma, the third bomb exploded nearby, under the Plaza Mayor, in a supermarket loo.
Police believe a suspected gas explosion in the morning at a bar in the affected area may have also been a bomb.
Senior government officials called an emergency meeting on the island where the
Spanish royal family is also on holiday.
Eta’s warning call was a recorded message of a woman’s distorted voice.
The attacks are not the first on Spanish holiday resorts, which Eta has targeted in the past with small bombs in an attempt to disrupt the tourist industry. A government spokesman said it was too early to tell if the bombs would harm tourism in the Balearic Islands, which are especially popular destinations for British and German tourists.
Eta claimed responsibility for three car bombs in northern Spain over the last two months.
The leadership has been significantly broken up by arrests in the Basque region in both Spain and France, but new leaders have emerged.
Three women are among the younger generation of Eta commanders said to have been behind the attack in Majorca.