In Spain on Saturday (14 January) police paid a spectacular tribute to a colleague killed in a gun battle with Basque separatist guerrillas in the northern city of Pamplona last Wednesday (11 January).
In Spain on Saturday (14 January) police paid a spectacular tribute to a colleague killed in a gun battle with Basque separatist guerrillas in the northern city of Pamplona last Wednesday (11 January). With sirens wailing and lights flashing, about 100 police cars escorted the hearse carrying the body of Inspector Jose Manuel Baena the 35 miles (55 kilometres) to the Spanish capital of Madrid for a Requiem Mass. Two guerrillas, who also died in the gun battle, had a quieter funeral in Pamplona the day before. The shoot-out was the latest incident in a fierce guerrilla war being waged against the Spanish security forces by the Separatist organisation ETA. For the last 20 years, the group has been fighting for an independent Socialist state, which would include the seven Basque provinces of France and Spain.
SYNOPSIS: Last Wednesday's shoot-out took place in the San Jorge working class quarter of Pamplona.
It followed a raid on this building in which police found arms and explosives. As they were leaving two ETA guerrillas arrived and started shooting.
Police fired back, killing the two ETA men, but in the gunbattle police inspector Jose Baena was mortally wounded.
The bodies of the two dead guerrillas, identified as Joaquin Vinas and Cerefino Arregui, were taken to the morgue along with that of the dead policeman. The shooting was the climax to a series of police raids on guerrilla hideouts in Pamplona following the theft of a ton of high explosive by the ETA at the end of last month.
The death of the two guerrillas provoked a series of protest demonstrations in various towns in the Basque region. Riot police, using rubber bullets, were called in to break up several marches.