Car Bomb Injures 95 in Madrid

A car bomb rocked a busy Madrid area during morning rush hour Tuesday, injuring 95 people, authorities said. Within an hour, police arrested a man and a woman suspected of setting off the explosion for the Basque separatist group ETA.

The bomb mangled more than a dozen cars and shattering windows along Corazon de Maria street in northeastern Madrid as thousands of people headed to nearby offices and schools. The street parallels the main highway to the international airport and is in one of the capital's busiest areas.

Interior Minister Mariano Rajoy said the bombers' target appeared to be Juan Junquera, secretary general of the government's scientific policy department, whose official car was passing by when the bomb went off. Junquera, a former interior and defense ministry official, was slightly injured.

Ninety-five people were treated for injuries, almost all for cuts and shock, emergency medical officials said. Only six remained hospitalized late Tuesday, including a 3-year-old child whose injuries weren't life-threatening.

Rajoy blamed the ETA, whose attacks have killed more than 800 people in car bombings and shootings in a 33-year campaign for independence of Basque regions in northern Spain and southwestern France.

``This statistic, 95 people treated, is enormously significant in terms of how far the barbarity and viciousness of some members of the human race and I think I am very generous in calling them that can go,'' Rajoy told reporters.

The explosion occurred close to the Spanish headquarters of the U.S.-based computer giant IBM and offices of the Spanish bank BBVA.

A man and woman were arrested after police received a phone call from a neighbor who reported seeing two people running from blast site and getting into a car.

People's Daily Online ---