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Europe

Spanish Businessman Killed by Suspected ETA Terrorists

A Spanish businessman has been killed in the country's troubled Basque region. It is the first attack blamed on the group since its military chief was arrested last month, police said.

Police and army officers in plain clothes are seen outside the army barracks where a car bomb exploded

ETA has been blamed for bombings and murders

The victim gunned down on Wednesday, Dec. 3, in a parking garage of a restaurant. The two or three assailants fired shots at him and then fled, according to Spanish media.

"Everything seems to point to ETA," an anti-terrorist source told the AFP news agency.

Spain's Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, condemned the attack, calling it "cowardly." He promised not to let ETA "impose its violent solutions on us."

Spanish security forces have been on maximum alert since Nov. 17, when Garikoitz Aspiazu, allegedly the military chief of the organization, was arrested in France.

If ETA does turn out to be responsible, it would be the first fatal shooting by the group since March of 2007.

ETA considered terrorist

ETA is considered a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States. It is blamed for the deaths of more than 820 people in its 40-year campaign to create a Basque homeland out of parts of northern Spain and southwestern France.

The victim was identified as Ignacio Uria Mendizabal, 71, who ran a company involved in the construction of a high-speed rail network in

the region. ETA has publicly opposed the project. The government has vowed that the rail project will go forward despite the killing.

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