Spanish PM: Basque Group Killed Pol

Eta separatists trying to disrupt elections, Zapatero says
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2008 6:51 AM CST
Police inspect the site where a former city councilman, Isaias Carrasco, was killed in the Basque town of Arrasate, Spain on Friday, March 7, 2008. Following the shooting, both major political parties...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Spain’s Prime Minister is blaming Basque separatist group Eta for the shooting death of a party functionary a day before national elections, the BBC reports. Jose Zapatero, whose Socialist Party is expected to win the contest, painted Isaias Carrasco’s murder as an attempt to disrupt elections, but vowed that Spain would not “allow challenges from those who oppose its basic principles.”

Eta, which advocates an independent Basque state in present-day northern Spain and southern France, is to blame for more than 800 deaths in its thirty-year history. The group has not, however, claimed responsibility for Carrasco’s death; the 2004 Madrid bombings, also close to elections which brought the Socialist Party to power, were originally blamed on Eta but later attributed to Muslim extremists.