Incident Summary:

03/17/2001: Members of the Basque Fatherland and Freedom (ETA) organization detonated a car bomb in Rosas, Girona province, Spain. The ETA members called in a warning to police before detonating the bomb, but then detonated the explosive prior to the time provided to the authorities. One police officer, Santo Santamaria Avedano, was killed in the attack as he tried to keep pedestrians away from the scene, while another officer and at least two others were injured. Severe damage was done to the area.




Western Europe

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
Near the Montecarlo Hotel in Rosas resort town in the region of Costa Brava, north of Barcelona, in Catalonia

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Police
Name of Entity Officers called to the scene
Specific Description Officer Santo Santamaria Avedano
Nationality of Target Spain
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Private citizens and property in the vicinity of the blast
Specific Description Private citizens and property near Montecarlo Hotel
Nationality of Target Spain
Target Type: Tourists
Name of Entity Near the Montecarlo Hotel in Rosas resort town
Specific Description Rosas resort town
Nationality of Target Spain
Additional Information
Hostages No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Vehicle
Weapon Details
The explosives were placed in a car stolen from Tarbes, France. Sources suggested that the explosives could have been dynamite stolen from an ETA raid in Grenoble, France, although no proof of this was provided. The bomb detonated seven minutes earlier than the time ETA provided to authorities. It was unspecified whether the bomb was remotely triggered.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information The officer was killed when shrapnel from the blast hit him as he tried to keep people away from the scene. Three people were injured, including another officer. Sources speculate that the bomb was detonated earlier than the time given to authorities so that maximum damage would be inflicted on first responders who were working to evacuate the Montecarlo Hotel, where at least 60 guests resided.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Basque Fatherland and Freedom (ETA) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Call (pre-incident))
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 3 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 3
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"ETA attacks Spain's resorts," BBC, March 18, 2001."
"Matt Spetalnick, "Spain car bomb found after blast kills policeman," Reuters, March 18, 2001."
"ETA targets Spanish tourist resorts in latest killing," Agence France-Presse, March 18, 2001."