The demonstrations in the Basque region of Spain that broke out during the annual 'Running of the Bulls' festival have escalated around the funerals of two men shot and killed by police.
The demonstrations in the Basque region of Spain that broke out during the annual 'Running of the Bulls' festival have escalated around the funerals of two men shot and killed by police. The first was killed on Saturday night (8 July).
SYNOPSIS: The police had to bring in reinforcements to quell the demonstrators angered by the death of the 27-year-old man. And just when the situation was quiet, Bilbao and San Sebastian erupted into violence again on Tuesday (11 July). One hundred and fifty people had been injured by then, and the Running of the Bulls Festival was cut short. Police battled with demonstrators throwing petrol bombs, and used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse them. A 19-year-old youth was shot dead, when, as part of a splinter group, he attempted to storm a police barracks.
The youth was one of the two-thousand demonstrators who took the streets in San Sebastian ??? on Tuesday. After several lesser scuffles, he became part of the group to storm the barracks. It took riot police two hours to disperse the crowd. An eyewitness said he was hit by a burst of machine gun fire. His funeral kept feelings running high as hundreds of mourners followed the flag-draped coffin through the streets of San Sebastian. Protest strikes at the two killings paralysed the Basque region again, with bars, restaurants, shops and factories closed.
In incidents early on Thursday (13 July) five thousand people in San Sebastian chanted slogans in favour of the Basque Separatist Guerrilla group and sand Basque Nationalist songs. Two more people were shots by police. One is in a serious condition and the other slightly wounded. The Spanish Interior Minister, Rodolfo Martin Villa who visited the region said the situation was very worrying. He immediately conferred with Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez on his return to Madrid.