Hopes for an end to Basque separatist violence in Spain vanished Friday when two car bombs exploded in a Madrid neighborhood, killing an army officer and ending a 19-month lull in such attacks.
Police immediately blamed the bombings on the Basque separatist group ETA, which ended a cease-fire last month after failing to win government concessions. Investigators said the attacks had all the hallmarks of the ETA.
Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, police reported last month that they had intercepted two ETA-linked cars carrying 3,300 pounds of explosives to Madrid. The group often waits weeks before claiming responsibility for an attack. The last attack attributed to the ETA was the killing of a governing party official on June 25, 1998.
Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar condemned Friday's attack and vowed the government would not yield in its fight against ETA.
"When ETA announced it was ending the pause in its terrorist activity, I said ETA was making a mistake," Aznar said in a television broadcast. "Now is the time to show ETA the consequences of its error."