Spanish Hotel Attacked by Bombers

MADRID, Spain (AP) - A bomb exploded in a Mediterranean resort hotel in southeast Spain after a telephone warning from the Basque separatist group ETA, the Interior Ministry said. One person was injured in the attack.

The bomb was in a backpack and detonated in a courtyard of the Hotel Port Denia at about 3:15 p.m. (1415GMT) Sunday. Denia is a beach town in the Spanish province of Alicante and is popular with tourists.

The warning call was placed to police in the Basque region. The caller ended the warning by saying, ``Gora ETA,'' which is Basque for ``Long live ETA,'' an Interior Ministry official in Madrid said on condition of anonymity.

The hotel immediately evacuated about 160 people before the bomb exploded about 30 minutes later. A male guest suffered slight ear injuries from the blast, the official said.

Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso condemned the attack and vowed that Spain's security forces ``will continue to use all the means at their disposal, with current law as the only limit, until ETA disappears completely.''

ETA is blamed for more than 800 deaths since the late 1960s in a campaign of bombings and shootings aimed at achieving an independent Basque homeland in land straddling northern Spain and southwest France.

The hotel bombing occurred two days before Spain's Parliament was scheduled to debate - and almost certainly reject - a proposal making the Basque region virtually independent.

On Jan. 18, a powerful car bomb exploded in the affluent town of Getxo near the main Basque city, Bilbao. That blast also was preceded by a call from a person claiming to speak for ETA.

That explosion caused slight injuries to a policeman and dashed hopes that ETA might be close to calling a cease-fire. Two days earlier, ETA issued a statement appealing to the Spanish government to start peace talks with Batasuna, ETA's banned political wing.

The statement made no mention of ETA laying down its weapons, the government's stated condition for undertaking such talks.